The winner of the inaugural Wing Yip ‘Young Chef of the Year 2013’ was awarded on Friday 22nd February at an awards ceremony in Birmingham.
Joseph being awarded his trophy by Brian Yip – Image by Jo’s Kitchen
Joseph Vinten from Birmingham won the coveted title of Young Chef of the Year for Oriental Cuisine, which celebrated culinary expertise of the very best chefs across the Midlands.
New for this year the competition set out to find the Midlands’ most promising young chef talent in Oriental cooking. It offered young chefs, between the ages of 18-25, who were either training or employed in the catering industry the chance to boost their culinary careers.
Joseph was chosen after a challenging 90 minute ‘cook-off’ at University College Birmingham during the day, which saw 11 finalists, across two heats, prepare an authentic two course meal comprising of a starter and main course.
The Judges and the Yip Family – Image by Jo’s Kitchen
Judges on the day included celebrity TV chef Ching He Huang, Michelin-starred Birmingham chef Glynn Purnell, and President of the British Culinary Federation, Peter Griffiths, who put the finalists through their paces and passed on expertise.
Chairman of judges and President of British Culinary Federation, Peter Griffiths said: “This competition has shown great diversity and is different to other competitions on the circuit. The calibre of the entries has been very high, so selecting our winners was difficult. We have been very impressed by the talent and skills of these budding professionals. This makes Joseph’s award even more impressive and he should be very proud of his achievement.”
Joseph, 22, is a student at University College Birmingham and impressed the judges with his dishes including Lobster Spring Rolls and Duo of Asian Quail.
Michelin starred chef Glynn Purnell said: “It’s a great to see a competition that embraces the multi-cultural food scene in Britain today. The dishes have shown a great fusion of east meets west. Oriental cuisine inspired my early career so I was delighted to be asked to judge this competition and was thoroughly impressed with the level of skill from all the finalists.”
As this year’s winner, Joseph has not only added the coveted title to his CV but has also won a once in a lifetime culinary trip to Hong Kong where he will have the opportunity to experience fine Asian cuisine and the popular street food scene.
On finding out the news, Joseph said: “I can’t believe the judges thought my food was good enough to win, and it was great to meet Glynn – he is one of my biggest inspirations. I am so excited and cannot wait to try out more Oriental cuisine when I visit Hong Kong later in the year.”
Ruby receives her trophy from Brian Yip – Image by Jo’s Kitchen
Valerio receives his trophy from Brian Yip – image by Jo’s Kitchen
Ruby Rainey from Keele University was also awarded second prize winning £500 of Wing Yip vouchers and Valerio Grimaldi-Plant from Stratford-upon-Avon College came third, winning £250 of Wing Yip vouchers.
Mr Wing Yip and I – Image by Jo’s Kitchen
Mr Wing Yip, Chairman of Wing Yip, said: “The increasing popularity of Pan Asian cuisine in the UK is extremely exciting. We launched the competition first and foremost to celebrate Oriental cookery with its delicious flavours and aromas, but also to identify the region’s most talented young chefs to encourage them to carry the tradition forward and preserve the legacy of this glorious cuisine.”
Ching and I – Image by Jo’s Kitchen
TV chef and Young Chef Judge Ching He Huang, added: “Joseph thoroughly deserved the title but I was impressed by the standard of all the finalist’s dishes. The talent in the final line up confirmed that the there is a hot bed of culinary promise and the final proved to be a fierce competition. Winning the title will open many doors for Joseph and offers a helping hand at a stage in their career which can be tricky to navigate. I was honoured to be able to share my experience and offer advice to the region’s finest young chefs.”
Stuart and I were lucky enough to be invited to the awards ceremony after the cook off. I have included the official account above as I did not want to miss anything out. We had an amazing time. Mr Wing Yip is a legend and his family, especially his son Brian are fantastic too. The event was hosted and run by students of the University College Birmingham who were very hard working and ensured that we had a great time. The Menu for the awards dinner was magnificent. I would happily eat their food anytime. Ching and Glynn were lovely to chat too and I hope to meet them again soon. Many thanks to Seal amd the Wing Yip family for hosting and inviting us to the event. Finally I would like to congratulate all the competitors for taking part. You all did amazingly well!