I was lucky enough to be involved in the judging of the recent Wing Yip Young Chef of the Year competition, where Joseph Vinten from Birmingham won the coveted title, which celebrates culinary expertise of the very best chefs across the Midlands. The competition gives young chefs, between the ages of 18-25, who are either training or employed in the catering industry, the chance to boost their culinary careers and Joseph was chosen after a challenging 90 minute ‘cook-off’ at University College Birmingham during the day, which saw 11 finalists prepare an authentic two course meal. I was in esteemed company with my judging colleagues, Michelin-starred Birmingham chef Glynn Purnell, and President of the British Culinary Federation, Peter Griffiths - and we had a tough task as competition was fierce! Joseph impressed us with his Lobster Spring Rolls and Duo of Asian Quail dishes - delicious! 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 his career which can be tricky to navigate. I was honored to be able to share my experience and offer advice to the region’s finest young chefs.
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