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5th March 2024

Sheffield College team wins 2024 Zest Quest Asia competition

Written by: Edward Waddell
Phoebe Tuttle, Beth Brewster and Joe Defries of The Sheffield College created a Filipino-inspired menu to help them win Zest Quest Asia, a victory that comes with a weeklong ‘trip of a lifetime’ to New Delhi in India.

The Zest Quest Asia gala dinner was attended by 230 guests along with the families of this year’s finalist teams from Cheshire College South & West, Loughborough College, North Hertfordshire College, The Sheffield College, University College Birmingham and New College Durham.

The evening kicked-off with a Thai canape reception prepared by outgoing Zest Quest Asia champions University of West London (UWL). This was followed by a three course supper prepared by Zest Quest Asia co-founder Cyrus Todiwala OBE DL and friends.

The Sheffield College trio, supported by their tutor Andy Gabbitas, impressed the judges with their execution of a menu comprising of:

  • An amuse bouche of Portobello Mushroom Sisig in a Croustade basket
  • A Tapsilog starter (a Filipino ensemble traditionally made of fried egg, beef tapa and garlic fried rice)
  • A main course of Chicken Adobo with caramelised soy green beans, banana ketchup and annatto peanuts
  • A dessert of Turon with ube ice cream and Don Papa caramel sauce

Cyrus Todiwala OBE DL FIH, who co-founded Zest Quest Asia with Pervin Todiwala, commented:  “Congratulations to The Sheffield College, for drawing inspiration from the Philippines, a country that your fellow Sheffield College students visited only two years ago.

“This is what our competition is all about – students who have experienced and learned first-hand the cuisine of different Asian cultures by getting involved in Zest Quest Asia then pay their knowledge and experience forward. This way slowly but surely more and more budding chefs can be inspired to appreciate and cook Asian food.

“I want to thank all our sponsors and supporters, especially our headline sponsor, Tilda, who will see to it that our new champions have an unforgettable time in New Delhi. I think Tilda’s commitment to Zest Quest Asia is nothing short of a passion.

“I tell the students that competing is only the beginning because from the moment they became finalists, we and our sponsors will see to it that doors open to them. Now our winning team from The Sheffield College is going to discover the tastes and flavours of one of the world’s oldest civilisations.”

Phoebe, Beth and Joe were cited for the Best Use of the Panasonic Accelerated Combination Oven, winning the oven for The Sheffield College. As part of their prize, they were also awarded a bespoke all-day class and Dashi journey in Japanese Kaiseki.

The overall runner-up was University College Birmingham, who won an educational trip to France courtesy of the Grande Cuisine Academy. The team also won the awards for Least Wastage and the Best Use of a Halide Processor.