Zest Quest Asia's founders, restaurateurs Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala, have announced the launch of another spin-off of the annual student culinary competition, to be unveiled in more detail in early January 2021.
The winter version of the Zest Quest Asia challenge will be broader in scope, with headline sponsorship from Tilda Foodservice, gold sponsors of Zest Quest Asia since the launch of the competition seven years ago.
Murray Chapman, director of First Contact Chefs and Passion to Inspire, and now a member of the Zest Quest Asia board. will oversee the competition's logistics.
Cyrus Todiwala said: "The pandemic has made operators like Pervin and I refocus on what's truly important. We both concluded that despite everything, we can't compromise on the future skills of our industry.
"Our challenge was to come up with less traditional ways to keep a great skills competition like Zest Quest Asia upmost in people's minds. Fortunately for us, Tilda Foodservice has come forward as they always have, to generously support Zest Quest Asia. At the core of the competition will be some real inspiration from Tilda Rice.
"Zest Quest Asia is a competition that consistently inspires and stretches students' creativity and ability, whetting their appetite for Asian cuisine as a career choice. The success of the 2020 summer challenge proved that we have a mission that resonates with budding chefs. Pervin and I are extremely excited about launching another challenge that mirrors our times, but with the same standards and rigour of past Zest Quest Asia competitions."
Chapman added: "In these strange times, we want not only to inspire our students but their great lecturers, those doing a brilliant job teaching the next generation of chefs. The format of the new Zest Quest Asia challenge will encourage lecturers to fire up their students' culinary imaginations with the promise of adventures across Asia, from Turkey to Japan. We want them to forage through food histories and cultures and explore spices to create some fantastic dishes and of course, as chef Cyrus always says, have fun!'
Annette Coggins, head of foodservice, Tilda Foodservice, said: "2020 has been a challenging year for all of us in hospitality, especially for our culinary colleges, that have worked so hard to keep student chefs positive and motivated. Tilda is committed to working alongside lecturers as well as to supporting and inspiring the next generation of chefs. We're very excited to be partnering with Cyrus and Zest Quest Asia to kick off 2021 with a bang – all I can say is watch this space!"