Eaves, who did a year's catering course at Stratford upon Avon College, got his first taste of real life kitchen fireworks as a 17 year old at the then Simpsons in Kenilworth. He was commis chef to Purnell, following in the footsteps of his brother Marcus, who now runs the Michelin starred L'Autre Pied in London.
Now Eaves is back in Birmingham, returning to work for Glynn Purnell, the man he credits with inspiring him as a teenage commis chef.
Eaves is the newly appointed head chef at The Asquith, Purnell's second solo restaurant, in Montague Road, Edgbaston. He has worked there before, when it was Jessica's, but this time he is bossing the compact kitchen brigade. It is Eaves' head on the block.
But Eaves is the man in charge of the day to day running of the 35 cover restaurant. The plaudits and the brickbats, should they come, will be his.
He was working for his brother when Purnell rang him and asked if he wanted to make it third time lucky this time as head chef. Eaves didn't take long to make up his mind.
When Purnell appears to say hello, it's like a force of nature has blown into suburban Edgbaston. The Michelin star chef's face is blotchy, the skin reddened, and his forehead is damp. It looks like Purnell has been in a fight. It's because he has.
Coming back is what Eaves does when Purnell is concerned. There is a genuine, mutual respect between the two professionals, but there is no doubt whatsoever about who's The Boss.
"I like the fact it is a neighbourhood restaurant. We are in the heart of Edgbaston and Harborne is very near. The same delivery vans will pull up outside here as pull up outside Purnell's.".
He says: "Glynn is one of the best managers and knows how to get the best out of people. He has not got an aggressive attitude. He nurtures people. When he said about going for it here as a head chef I could not think of a better person to do it with."
With this style of cooking, every ingredient has got to be done correctly, delivered with maximum flavour. There is a duck breast dish on the 34.95 three course la carte. It comes with red cabbage. Eaves says: "When we do red cabbage I want to make it the best red cabbage you can do." It's the sort of attitude you can't help but warm to.
"He was so exciting to work alongside," says Eaves. "And he puts excitement into you when you are young and are like a sponge."
out but I am beyond vulgarity.
"I've just done nine rounds of kick boxing, Rich," says Purnell, who is a knockout with liquorice charcoal as well as his fists.
The Leamington Spa born chef is still getting used to the different feel and responsibilities of his first head chef's job when we meet for a coffee in The Asquith's sun bathed conservatory area.
He's the sorcerer's apprentice and he comes with a CV spun from gastronomy gold.
shame. "I am just working with the lads cooking nice food. I am trying to pass on to the lads what I have learned over the years from Glynn. It's passing on a tradition," he says.
Eaves, whose father Jim is also a chef, left Simpsons for the grandeur of Whatley Manor at Malmesbury featured last week on the BBC's Masterchef: The Professionals but he crossed knives again with Purnell when he was offered a commis job at Jessica's, where the Chelmsley Wood chef won his first star. From there Eaves moved on to Daniel Clifford's Midsummer House in Cambridge, David Everitt Matthias's Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham and Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley.
At 26, Jason Eaves has already worked at a roster of high end restaurants boasting a collective haul of 11 Michelin stars. The modest chef wouldn't be so vulgar as to point this Omega Speedmaster Day Date Discontinued
"I took one in the chest. It stings a bit," he says, pulling up his shirt to reveal an engorged "fraises des bois" coloured welt and a set of abs that aren't bad for a chap of his advancing years (he's 35). "The boxing calms me down. I've got chef's Tourette's," adds Purnell.
"He used to make the bread, set up for service, do the stocks, roasting bones, mirepoix," recalls Purnell.
Purnell is only 10 minutes' drive away, working his magic at his flagship Cornwall Street restaurant, and he checks the menus and tastes all the new dishes at The Asquith.
He loves the new menu's fish risotto, with its distinctive British nostalgia vibe, evoking memories of tea time as a kid. "If you eat smoked haddock risotto it is just going to make you feel good," says Eaves, whose enthusiasm for the job is evident.
Jason Eaves follows in the footsteps of Glynn Purnell
The boy is back in town. Food Critic Richard McComb talks to Glynn Purnell's new head chef, Jason Eaves.
"It's a bit strange and it hasn't really sunk in yet," says Eaves, whose West Midlands twang doesn't put his master's to Omega Seamaster Golf Edition
Eaves adds: "I want to keep people interested and excite customers so they keep coming back."
Purnell himself insists the only requirement of The Asquith at this stage is to make sure the rent is covered. "There is no pressure with guides, nothing like that. We just want the food to taste good. We won't be having 15ft sugar tuiles on things because they don't taste of anything," he says.
"I like hearty food," says Eaves. "My idea of food is classic flavours. You don't need to recreate anything the flavours are there. Omega Seamaster 300 Movement If I make a soup or a velout, it does what it says."
There has been no agonising over the targeted customer base for The Asquith. There doesn't need to be. The place is for "people who like good food," says Purnell.
The tradition, for now, is refreshingly stripped down. Starters on the great value lunch menu 20 for three course include smoked haddock risotto and ham hock terrine; mains are wood pigeon with pomme pure, Savoy cabbage and baby onions, or plaice with mushroom pure, leeks and butterbeans. To follow, there is a caramelized pear mousse with blackberry sorbet and a selection of French and British cheese. For 20 quid. You'd have to be mad not to go.
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