Glynn Purnell backs first UCB Young Chef of the Year competition

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 5th September 2016

University College Birmingham (UCB) hopes to uncover the region’s best young culinary talent with help from Michelin starred chef and TV personality, Glynn Purnell.

Glynn is donating the star prize of a VIP food experience at his Michelin star restaurant in Birmingham and will also be one of the judges.

Glynn said: “I am delighted to be backing UCB’s Young Chef of the Year competition. It is a great opportunity for young chefs to put their skills to the test and gain invaluable experience.

“My fellow judges and I will be looking for well-cooked, tasty food and great flavours. Cooking against the clock is hard so I would advise young chefs to be well prepared and not over-complicate their dishes.

“I am really looking forward to trying the food prepared by the finalists – and welcoming the winner to my restaurant. The very best of luck to everyone.”

The competition, which is free to enter, is aimed at pupils aged between 14 and 16 throughout the Midlands and is being launched to mark the 100th anniversary of offering professional cookery classes in the city.

The young chefs selected after a preliminary round will have to cook against the clock and produce a two-course meal for two for £10. Judges are keen to see dishes with a personal/family emphasis and those that reflect Birmingham’s rich food heritage and cultural diversity.


Neil Rippington, Dean of the College of Food at UCB, said: “We are thrilled to be launching the first-ever UCB Young Chef of the Year competition. It will be a showcase for the best cooking talent in the Midlands and it would be great if we could uncover a kitchen star of the future.

“The competition promises to provide great learning opportunities for
pupils in Year 10 and Year 11. We hope it will encourage young people to get involved in cookery, which can open up great job opportunities and serve as a skill for life.”  

Along with Glynn’s star prize of a VIP food experience at his Michelin star restaurant in Birmingham. The winner will also scoop a brand new iPhone 6 – and their school will receive £500 worth of vouchers to spend on cookery equipment.

Glynn’s fellow judges for the grand final include UCB graduate Ben Ebbrell, co-founder of SORTEDfood, one of the world’s biggest online cookery channels with 1.5 million YouTube subscribers.

The first stage of the contest will involve an online entry, or application, in which budding chefs will have to outline a menu for two diners featuring a main course and a dessert. The total budget is £10 and the entry deadline is Friday, October 21.

Successful candidates will be asked to cook their dishes, in 90 minutes, during a qualifying heat at UCB’s state-of-the-art competition kitchens in Summer Row, Birmingham city centre. The round will be judged by experts from UCB’s Culinary Team and the “best of the best” will be asked to return in January 2017 to compete at the grand final at UCB.

Pupils’ food costs for the day of the qualifying round and the final, up to the agreed budget, will be reimbursed by UCB.

To enter the competition, please go to UCB’s website and complete the online entry form: http://www.ucb.ac.uk/news/latest-news/2016/09/02-ucb-young-chef-of-the-year.aspx

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 5th September 2016

Glynn Purnell backs first UCB Young Chef of the Year competition