A talented young chef from the House of Commons has won the coveted title of Wing Yip Oriental Cookery Young Chef of the Year 2016.
Ray Steplin, 22, battled it out in a Masterchef-style cook-off at University College Birmingham.
Ray was presented with his trophy by Wing Yip, founder of a Birmingham-based food empire.
He also won a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Hong Kong where he will gain an insight into the hospitality industry at Michelin-starred restaurants and explore the region’s cultural highlights.
Ray said: ““Hearing my name read out as the winner for this year’s Wing Yip Oriental Young Chef of the Year was extraordinary.”
Putting Ray and the other finalists through their paces as judges were President of the British Culinary Federation Peter Griffiths, Michelin-starred Chef Glynn Purnell and 2013 MasterChef finalist Larkin Cen.
Ray wowed them with a starter of an oxtail and wasabi steamed bun, glazed with ponzu prune sauce, Oriental slaw and pickled radish, followed by a main of seared miso black cod with courgette, black radish and carrot tender noodles, dashi chicken broth and squid ink tapioca crisp.
Peter Griffiths said: “Ray’s dishes demonstrated a clever use of modern cooking techniques combined with traditional Asian flair. Ray demonstrated an excellent work ethic and his final dishes were right on the mark.”
Ray faced tough competition from 15 other finalists from trade and colleges, including UCB.
Wing Yip, launched and based in Birmingham, is Britain’s leading national Oriental grocer.