AN UP and coming chef from the Ribble Valley is hoping it will be second time lucky after being chosen as a finalist in a national competition to find the best young Oriental cookery chef.

Henry Bailey, 19, from Hurst Green, made it to the final last year of the Wing Yip Oriental Cookery Young Chef of the Year competition but he broke his hand just before the event and had to pull out.


It is the third year that Oriental grocer Wing Yip has launched its search to find a rising-star chef who has a flair for Pan Asian flavours.

This year, 16 people have made it through to the final including Henry, who will now have the chance to showcase his skills before a renowned panel of judges on February 16, at University College Birmingham.

This year’s winner will receive a trip to Hong Kong where they will sample culinary delights, work in Michelin-starred restaurants and explore the vibrant street food scene.

Henry, who lives in Lambing Clough Lane, studied catering and hospitality at Blackburn College and has just completed his apprenticeship with Yu and You in Longsight Road, Copster Green.

The former Stonyhurst College and Oakhill College student said: “I was delighted when I heard I had got into the finals once again and am really looking forward to having the chance to show the judges what I can do.

“I have always enjoyed cooking and especially Oriental cooking. It is something completely different that a lot of people do not get a chance to do.

“It would be incredible if I won and something that you cannot really put into words.

“I went to have a look around Blackburn College and I took part in a cooking demonstration and haven’t looked back since.”

Putting Henry through his paces will be Peter Griffiths, head judge and president of the British Culinary Federation, Michelin-starred chef Glynn Purnell and Larkin Cen, 2013 MasterChef finalist and director of Asian food innovation Hokkei.

The competition was open to applicants, aged between 18 and 25 years, who are studying or employed in the catering and hospitality industry.

The first stage required Henry to design an Oriental-inspired menu using ingredients of his choice.

W. Wing Yip, chairman of Wing Yip, said: “This year we have been inundated with high-quality applications.

“It was difficult for the judges to choose the best 16.”