The 3rd Wing Yip Young Chef competition

Tense competition

Wing Yip has launched its annual search for the UK’s top Cookery Young Chef. Now in its third year, the competition offers the country’s finest culinary talent the opportunity to showcase their skills before a renowned panel of judges.

As part of the prize the chefs will battle it out to win an exclusive trip to Hong Kong where they will sample the region’s culinary delights, work in Michelin-starred restaurants and explore the vibrant street food scene.

Last year’s competition attracted an array of talent from across the country, with House of Commons chef Robert Hall taking the title after battling against contestants from Eton College, University College Birmingham, City of Liverpool College and Bentley Motors.

Reflecting on his Young Chef experience, Robert said: “The competition was fierce and I’m overwhelmed to have won. I can’t wait to travel to Hong Kong in October where I will be fortunate enough to work alongside Michelin-starred chefs. The experience and skills I will gain at this early stage in my career will be invaluable.”

Putting the contestants through their paces will be Peter Griffiths, head judge and President of the British Culinary Federation, Glynn Purnell, Michelin-starred chef and owner of Purnell’s in Birmingham and Larkin Cen, 2013 MasterChef finalist and director of Asian food innovation Hokkei.

Larkin Cen, one of the judges
Larkin Cen, one of the judges

Peter Griffiths said: “Getting your first break in the catering industry can be difficult and taking part in competitions like Young Chef can boost your credibility and open doors to a successful career in the industry.

“Each year we look to raise the bar in terms of standard of entries and last year we attracted a raft of culinary talent from some of the UK’s most renowned establishments and colleges, we hope this year will attract even more as young chefs look to build their skills, knowledge and experience.”

Glynn Purnell said: “Learning and competing in the field of Chinese cuisine is a great challenge and confidence booster as it requires contestants to think outside the box. It’s an impressive skill to have and even for those who strive for a career in a different style of cooking, competing in other arenas is extremely beneficial and creates a multi-skilled chef.”

The competition is open to applicants across the UK, aged between 18 and 25 years, who have a flair for Chinese cuisine and are studying or employed in the catering and hospitality industry. The first stage requires contestants to design and submit a Chinese inspired menu using ingredients of their choice.

The most mouth watering menus will be shortlisted and successful applicants will be invited to a Masterchef-style cook-off at the University College Birmingham on Monday 16th February 2015. Finalists will execute their dishes before the panel who will award marks for technique, creativity, presentation and most importantly the use of authentic Oriental ingredients and cooking styles. 

Mr Wing Yip, Chairman of Wing Yip, said: “Each year I am impressed with the level of talent demonstrated by the contestants and we are extremely proud to support young chefs and encourage them to experiment with the wonderful variety of ingredients and cooking styles found across Chinese and East Asian cuisine.”

The winners will be announced at an official awards dinner at the University College Birmingham following the competitive cook-off.

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