Catering students across the UK have been invited to enter Zest Quest Asia 2019, a competition that recognises and rewards talent and understanding of Asian cuisine.
The competition is open to full-time students with permanent residency status in the UK.
Colleges are invited to field teams of three students (plus their tutor) who vie for a first prize consisting of a seven to 10-day culinary-infused educational trip to an Asian capital.
To date, five colleges and universities have created Zest Quest Asia champions: Westminster Kingsway College, Farnborough College, Milton Keynes College, University College Birmingham, and current champions University of West London.
Winners have enjoyed trips to Mumbai, Colombo, Bangkok, Tokyo (and Osaka) and Hanoi.
Every year, the winning destination is kept secret, revealed only at the gala dinner and awards evening held at the Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5, following a cook-off and knowledge presentation at the hotel’s signature restaurant, Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen.
This year the competition and awards evening is set for 8 February 2019.
“Zest Quest Asia is an exciting and challenging competition for student chefs who dare to be the best in Asian cuisine,” says Cyrus Todiwala, who founded the competition with Pervin Todiwala in collaboration with the Master Chefs of Great Britain.
“We know that in the six years since we launched, we’ve already made a difference simply by making students and teachers aware of the depth of skills and knowledge that goes into preparing good Asian food.
“Students who become adept at Asian cuisine in Britain are the pioneers and ‘disruptors’, choosing something outside the normal comfort zone of classical western cookery.
“And they’re helping their careers too, because more than ever palates are yearning for Asian flavours.
“I strongly urge colleges, big and small, to enter Zest Quest Asia. On top of everything, you will be making a big difference to the student experience.”
Colleges interested in entering can do so via the website. The deadline for entries is 26 October 2018.