Top chef Glynn Purnell is set to chair the judging panel for this year’s Birmingham Young Professional of the Year (BYPY).

Birmingham’s favourite celebrity chef, who took part in series three and four of the Great British Menu, will join Birmingham Post Editor, Alun Thorne, Alan Chatham from Birmingham Development Company (BYPY’s main sponsor this year), last year’s BYPY winner Suzie Branch of BHMG, Paul Thandi from the NEC Group, Trevor Foster of Bigwood, Birmingham Forward chairman, Sue Lewis of Eversheds and Birmingham Future chairman, Amanda Porter of Mills and Reeve, in grilling this year’s BYPY finalists.

Mr Purnell, who owns the eponymous Purnell’s on Cornwall Street in Birmingham, will guide the judges in selecting winning candidates from the financial, legal, entrepreneurial, communications, property and construction and recruitment and training sectors, before going on to choose the overall BYPY winner.

The successful finalists will be revealed next month before the awards ceremony at the ICC on Thursday 27 May, when the winners will be announced.

Mr Purnell, who grew up in Chelmsley Wood and made a name for himself as head chef at Jessica’s in Edgbaston, said he was looking forward to meeting some of Birmingham’s top young professional talent.

“It’s really important to acknowledge and reward people who are doing well,” he said.

“As a chef, Birmingham Young Professional of the Year is something new to me but I love the idea and I think it’s a great way of recognising the success stories that have come out of this region.

“After taking part in the Great British Menu I know how it feels to be at the mercy of a judging panel and I’ll do my best to bear that in mind during the process of selecting our BYPY finalists.”

*Tickets for BYPY are now on sale priced £850 + VAT per table (or £85 + VAT per person for single tickets). To reserve your place please contact Isabel Drabble at the Birmingham Future Office on 0121 632 2200 or via email idrabble@birminghamforward.co.uk.