Zest Quest Asia competition to return in 2020

Zest Quest Asia competition to return in 2020
Cyrus Todiwala, co-founder of Zest Quest Asia
07/08/2019 - 05:00
Zest Quest Asia will return in 2020 to inspire students across the UK to consider Asian cookery as a future career.

Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala founded the competition in 2013 to stem the skills shortage in Asian cuisine that is threatening the one billion pound Asian food industry.

Cyrus Todiwala, said: “Colleges and aspiring student chefs should seriously consider entering Zest Quest Asia 2020 when they return to college after the summer.”

Zest Quest Asia 2020 is open to full-time students with permanent residency in the UK. Colleges can field teams of three students (plus their tutor) to compete in the seventh edition of the competition.

Last year’s champions University of West London went to the Philippines for a study tour, which included a cook-off at the British ambassador to the Philippines residence (H.E. Daniel Pruce) and cookery demonstrations at the five star Fairmont Makati and Raffles Makati.

Cyrus Todiwala, added: “Last year’s Zest Quest Asia competition was one of the best we’d seen, matched by phenomenal prizes that make it more than worthwhile for ambitious students to enter.

“We’ve seen some previous winners go on to careers in Asian cuisine, and every time they go abroad, they not only learn but become great ambassadors for Britain. We expect to have many great entries this year!”

To-date, five colleges and universities have been crowned Zest Quest Asia champions: Westminster Kingsway College, Farnborough College, Milton Keynes College, University College Birmingham, and current champions University of West London, winners of the competition for two consecutive years.

Nathan Vasanthan, Lecturer the University of West London, who accompanied the current Zest Quest Asia champions to Manila, commented: “For the students, I believe the biggest challenge is to keep the authenticity of the dishes as modernity tends to focus more on how the dishes should be presented and served.

“Zest Quest Asia, beyond the competition, media exposure and the reputation it can bring, highlights the great but still untapped potential of Asian cuisine in the UK.”

The deadline for entries is 25 October 2019 and the shortlist will be revealed in early December. The final cook-off and gala dinner will be held on 7 February 2020 at the Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal Five. 

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