The six finalists have just been announced for the 2024 Zest Quest Asia competition!
Entries were plentiful and standards were high but after paper entries were scrupulously judged, six student teams have been chosen to compete at this year’s esteemed event.
Going through to the final cook-off, to be held at the University of West London, on 27th February are Cheshire College South & West, Loughborough College, North Hertfordshire College, The Sheffield College, University College Birmingham and New College Durham.
The cook-off will be held on 27th February, at the University of West London, where the finalists will endeavour to impress a team of judges, all of whom are highly regarded industry professionals.
Each team of three students are challenged to create a four course menu and are urged to research their chosen cuisine well. They are required to consider authenticity, taste, presentation, cost, skillset and innovative use of sponsors’ products, as well as minimising waste.
The winning team will be grandly rewarded with an educational trip of a lifetime to be revealed at the Gala Dinner; previous destinations have included Japan, India, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Sri Lanka!
The passion, expertise and sincerity behind Zest Quest Asia makes it an industry event like no other, with many positive comments from past participants highlight the benefits of competing:
“The educational journey that our students took on whilst doing Zest Quest was invaluable, they grew in confidence, gained the ability to research independently, and worked as a team.” Andy Gabbitas BEM, Chef Lecturer, The Sheffield College.
“The competition was so well constructed and sponsored. Having informative and educational videos from the industry sponsors was of great help. ZQA promotes knowledge enhancement, rather than solely practical cooking, with the requirement to make a presentation setting it apart and above any other competition.” Simon Rodgers, Professional Cookery & Hospitality Lecturer, North, West and Hebrides.
“The competition has given the students a platform to express themselves in a cuisine not naturally embedded in the curriculum and has highlighted the diversity of cultures and cuisines.” Anthony Gascoigne, North Herts College
As is customary, the canapes served during the drinks reception will be prepared by current Zest Quest Asia champions, University of West London, who spent over a week in Bangkok as their main prize. Tickets for the Gala Dinner and Awards Night are now on sale priced at £110pp, or £1,000 per table of 10, and include the drinks reception and 3-course dinner with wines. Please follow this link to book.