Six colleges have been chosen to go forward to win Zest Quest Asia 2017 at the Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 in February.
The named finalists are Colchester Institute, University of Derby, Hackney Community College, Sheffield College, University College Birmingham and University of West London.
The student teams will be tasked to prepare and present classical and contemporary Asian cookery skills during a live cook-off.
This stage will be followed by a 10-minute presentation testing their knowledge about food culture, provenance and in specific key areas such as sustainability.
The winning team will win a trip to a top Asian food destination, to be revealed at the Gala Dinner following the finals. Last year, Milton Keynes College spent a week in Bangkok.
Zest Quest Asia began four years ago. Chef Cyrus Todiwala, co-patron with Pervin Todiwala of Café Spice Namaste, in collaboration with the Master Chefs of Great Britain launched the competition to showcase young chef's talents and to encourage them to enter a career in Asian cuisine.
Cyrus Todiwala said, "This year we had an extremely high standard of entries, from all over the UK, but we could only choose six to go forward. The fact that so many colleges entered Zest Quest Asia this year means that we are gaining traction as the student competition for the 21st century, just as people are beginning to realise that Asian food is one of the most viable routes to a career.
"I am thrilled that more and more heads of school and tutors are encouraging students to compete, and impressed by the outstanding quality of many of the entries. I would urge those who didn't make the final cut this year not to give up and to definitely go for it again next year."
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