Published on March 16, 2021

For the fourth year running, students at North Hertfordshire College (NHC) have won a coveted place in the national finals of Zest Quest Asia, a prestigious student catering competition, established by celebrity chef, Cyrus Todiwala.

On Wednesday 10 March it was announced that Level 3 Professional Cookery Students, Todd Woolston and Josh Davies had been selected as one of the twelve finalists.

Zest Quest is a cooking competition geared towards raising the profile, knowledge and skills of Asian cuisine, among different, ambitious student chefs aged 16-21 in the UK. This years’ competition attracted more than 90 entries from over two dozen colleges. Judges faced a high calibre of submissions that the judges.

The students will now compete at a live, on-line cook-off to be held in the kitchens of the college on 31 March 2021. They will be competing against students at Bridgwater & Taunton College, Sheffield College, West Suffolk College, South Lanarkshire College, Grimsby Institute, Cambridge Regional College, Loughborough College, New College Durham and University College Birmingham.

Anthony Gascoigne, Lecturer at NHC, said:

“Taking part in Zest Quest Asia has inspired and sparked the students’ imagination and creativity. Zest Quest Asia continues to inspire the students to develop their skills in Asian cuisine. Having two chefs through to the finals is an incredible achievement and testament to the hard work and passion our students have for the industry.”

NHC student and competition finalist, Todd Woolston said:

“I’m thrilled that I’ve gotten through to the finals and I’m looking forward to showing the judges the full extent of my skills and creativity.”

Celebrity Chef and competition judge, Cyrus Todiwala said:

“I would like to congratulate all of our Zest Quest Asia Tilda Challenge finalists. We are proud of you all and it really was a challenge for the judges amid so many spectacular efforts.

“Personally, it is deeply rewarding to see budding chefs from so many colleges in the UK start to unearth and embrace the mysteries and challenges of Asian cookery and cuisine. That their tutors continue to take a keen interest in this subject area bodes well for the future of catering education.”

For more information on the competition, visit ZestQuestAsia.org.

Interested in studying Catering & Hospitality at NHC? Click here for further course information.