News from 2017
In a direct bid to colleges to start fielding teams in Zest Quest Asia, Cyrus Todiwala OBE launched his competition's fifth year at the annual PACE conference gala dinner on Wednesday, 3rd May at the Hilton Liverpool.
In the presence of over a hundred lecturers and other representatives from Britain's catering education sector, Todiwala revealed that since the inauguration of Zest Quest Asia in 2013, over 50 colleges of varying sizes had expressed an interest in entering the competition, which is designed to channel homegrown culinary talent to careers in the Asian food sector and is organised in collaboration with the Master Chefs of Great Britain. Some 20 colleges had gone on to cook off in the finals.
As part of his presentation, Todiwala unveiled a promotional video designed to capture all the excitement of the last competition, won by University College Birmingham (UCB). It was followed by a first-hand account by Lewis Walker, UCB chef lecturer, of the winning team's prize trip to Tokyo, Kyoto, Kobe and Osaka, which was sponsored by Panasonic. “We arrived as tourists, were welcomed as VIPs, and left as friends,” he said of their trip of a lifetime.
Cyrus Todiwala said, “With Zest Quest Asia, I want students to learn the depths of Asian food. The whole idea has been to captivate young minds and create geniuses in Asian cuisine. I had always hoped but never realised how the competition it would grow. But I am here to urge all colleges to grab this chance not only to win a fabulous prize, but to be part of a movement that I hope one day will see classical Asian cuisine on the curriculum.”
Sue Kenyon, Executive Director of PACE, said, “I think Zest Quest Asia and the opportunity it has given catering students is just amazing. There was no way that students could have enjoyed that trip to Japan, and before that to Sri Lanka, India and Thailand, without Zest Quest Asia. They should seize the opportunity with both hands and enter the competition now.”
To submit expressions of interest and for details of how to enter Zest Quest Asia 2018, colleges should visit www.zestquestasia.com in the first instance. Deadline for entries is 27th October 2017. The shortlist will be revealed in early December, with the final cook off and gala dinner to be held in February 2018 at the Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5.