Entries are now open for Zest Quest Asia 2019, the student catering competition that recognises talent, knowledge and understanding of Asian cuisine.
The competition, which was founded by Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala in collaboration with the Master Chefs of Great Britain, is open to full-time students with permanent residency status in the UK.
Catering colleges are invited to field teams of three students (plus their tutor) to compete for the first prize of a seven- to 10-day culinary educational trip to an Asian capital.
Now in its sixth year, Zest Quest Asia aims to inspire students across the UK to consider Asian cookery as a career.
In so doing, the competition aims to help stem the skills shortage in Asian cuisine threatening the £4b Asian food industry, as well as encourage educationists to include classical Asian cookery in the curriculum.
Past winners, from Westminster Kingsway College, Farnborough College, Milton Keynes College, University College Birmingham, and the University of West London, have enjoyed study trips to Mumbai, Colombo, Bangkok, Tokyo (and Osaka) and Hanoi.
The winning destination will be revealed at the gala dinner and awards evening to be held at Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 on Friday 8 February 2019. It will follow a cook-off and presentation at the hotel’s restaurant, Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen.
Founder chef Cyrus Todiwala said: “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.”
The deadline for entries is Friday 26 October 2018 and the shortlist will be revealed in early December.
Details on how to enter can be found at www.zestquestasia.com.