With the deadline only 3 weeks away, Cyrus Todiwala is urging colleges across the UK to submit their entries to Zest Quest Asia 2019, the student competition designed to recognise and celebrate excellence in Asian cookery and cuisine.
Now on its sixth year, Zest Quest Asia was founded by Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala, owners of Café Spice Namaste and Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen, in collaboration with the Master Chefs of Great Britain.
Since launching the 2019 competition in the spring, expressions of interest from some 50 colleges have been received, with entries expected from a number of previous winners.
Because it aims to cultivate ‘home grown’ talent in Asian cuisine, one of Zest Quest Asia’s iron-clad rules is that students who enter must have permanent residency status in the UK.
Apart from the first prize of a weeklong, once-in-a-lifetime educational trip to an Asian culinary destination, shortlisted teams will have the chance to vie for prizes in a number of special categories, including ‘Dish of the Day’, ‘Best Presented Menu’, ‘Best Use of Rice’, ‘Least Food Wasted’, and ‘Best Use of Living Ingredients’. Prizes include coveted experiences, in the UK and abroad, designed to enrich their understanding of the produce, ingredients, techniques and innovations involved in Asian cooking and dining cultures.
The winners will be announced at the Gala Dinner and Awards Dinner to held at the Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 on 8th February 2019, following a cook-off and knowledge presentation at the hotel’s signature restaurant, Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen.
Cyrus Todiwala said, ‘Colleges should be finalising their entries to Zest Quest Asia. Asia is a huge continent so there are many exciting culinary traditions and influences to choose from.
‘Getting involved in Zest Quest Asia and cooking Asian dishes will surely broaden their students’ horizons. In Asia, as in many parts of the West, food is not just about history and culture but identity. For many, Zest Quest Asia will be the first stage of that voyage of discovery.’
Companies that have pledged to support Zest Quest Asia 2019 include Hilton T5, Meiko UK, Tilda, Koppertcress, Regale Microwaves, Bidfood, Cobra Beer, Patriarche, Castelnau, Glengoyne and Robocoup.
The deadline for entries is Friday, 26th October 2018, with the shortlist revealed in early December. Tickets for the Gala Dinner are available at £85pp or £750 for a table of ten. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To submit expressions of interest and for details of how to enter Zest Quest Asia 2019, colleges should visit www.zestquestasia.com in the first instance.
The deadline for entries is Friday, 26th October 2018. The shortlist will be revealed in early December, with the final cook off and gala dinner to be held on Friday, 8th February 2018 at the Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5.