From rock legends Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath and Duran Duran, presenters Cat Deeley and Richard Hammond, to celebrity chefs including Glynn Purnell, Birmingham has produced some of the most iconic and talented individuals across nearly every sector of our lives.
Now there is a new face in town, his name is Chef Kano, and the level of attention to detail he brings to his preparation, cooking and presentation when plating up, has gathered him quite the reputation already, and it’s only a matter of time before his name is uttered in the same breath as those mentioned previously.
With queues down the street for his takeaway offerings, and a VIP Guest list for his in-home Private Dining featuring the likes of rapper Mist, Chef Kano is a man on a mission.
Born in Nechells, Birmingham, Chef Kano, real name Kane Blake, had a passion for cooking from a very early age. “I used to help mum in the kitchen when I was young, and I was always making things for myself too.”
Attending Nechells Primary Schools and Hodge Hill Secondary, it wasn’t until Chef Kano was accepted for a course at UCB Birmingham, which is, in his own words “the best culinary chef college in the UK.” That his journey truly began.
Kano completed a Professional Level 3 Diploma Cookery Course, learning everything about the industry, from the restaurant side and fine dining, to basic and advanced chef skills in the kitchen, as well as placements in his third year.
“I picked up on the skills and knowledge that I needed at college, they drilled into your head the French Culinary skills and the top Kitchen tricks you need to know.
When the now 24 year old graduated from UCB, Kano became an Agency Chef, going between top hotels, restaurants, horse racing tracks and football stadiums, cooking for royalty and celebrities as well as in mass catering for events.
“I’ve worked for lots of hotels in Birmingham including Hotel Malmaison, Radisson, Moor Hall and I got the opportunity to go to Germany to work for two weeks in a mass catering kitchen for 6,000 people which was an amazing experience.”
It was after a few years of this that Kano started to get bored of the Fine Dining side of the culinary scene. “I always wanted to do comfort food, like the American kind of style, but with my own twist on it, including the level of presentation and attention to detail I’m known for,” reminisced Chef Kano.
“I started to do some things in my kitchen and start recording it on my phone for social media, at which point everyone was messaging me like ‘Oh my god, you should start doing something proper, we would come for this if you did it’ which really made me think I could actually do it.”
“JointsTV came about because I would always say ‘Welcome to Joints’ or ‘Welcome to Joints TV’ at the beginning of my videos, and the name just stuck!”
In June 2017, JointsTV was born, and from there his followers started growing. From creating popup events at friends shops, as well as some temporary setups across the country, Kano would religiously create new menus week in week out to tantalise and entice his viewers.
Putting out the menu and the location of where he’d be set up the next day was an ingenious marketing strategy which has paid dividends for him, judging by the queues outside waiting for him every day he’s cooking.
Since the start of the pandemic, which saw many restaurants and takeaways shut, Kano has been thriving through his in-home Fine Dining experiences. “I basically bring the restaurant to peoples houses and cook the meals in their house while they sit back and enjoy!” explained Chef Kano.
“I cook for rappers and celebrities and other VIP clients, everything from starters to desserts and cocktails.” For groups of 10+, or intimate His&Hers style dining, Chef Kano helps decide on the perfect menu for the occasion, adds his own little twists, and gives them the meal of their lives.
“I cooked for a couple on Valentines Day, where the guy was going to propose to her. Thankfully she said yes, otherwise that could’ve been a very awkward end to the evening!”
Chef Kano is currently a resident chef at Jam N Vibez on Slade Road, Birmingham a couple of days a week, and has become known for the premium quality food with that added care and attention, with queues for his food snaking down the road, socially distanced of course.
“Everyone loves my gourmet burger with the Hennessey wings, I started that blueprint in Birmingham, and now a lot of people have taken it and copied it. Because I change the menu every week it’s always different and fresh.
“One week it’ll be salmon, tempura prawns, or lobster mac & cheese, and another it’ll be all different types of wings, lamb chops, tenderstem broccoli, cheesecakes and mocktails. It intrigues people how I can change the menu every week!”
It’s not just in Birmingham that Chef Kano is in huge demand, recently Manchester has been his adopted home for extended periods. “Manchester is kinda hot for me right now, I’ve been there the last few weekends and for 5 days the week before that. I’m starting to think I should open up a shop there because they’re loving me.”
The pandemic has made Chef Kano very cautious about his next steps, and for now, he’s just having fun with the private dining and takeaway offerings in the city. “Right now, I’m just a young chef having fun and a great time enjoying what I do.”
“It won’t be long before you see a dedicated Joints establishment, although where it will be based is a different question.”
You can find Chef Kano on Instagram at instagram.com/_jointstv_ although we’ll warn you advance, make sure you’ve eaten, else you’ll get very hungry, very quickly!
Chef Kano. Remember the name, because this one is changing the game.