Published on December 6, 2019

Catering Students Celebrate Culinarily Competition Success

For the third 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.

Jon Nash (19 years old), Luke Watkins (18 years old) and Josh Ephgrave (19 years old), who are doing a Level 3 advanced diploma in professional cookery at NHC, impressed the judges with their Keralan-inspired menu. The competition is noted for its rigorous criteria and exacting standards.

The students will now compete in a live cook-off on February 7th 2020 at Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen, the signature restaurant at the Hilton in Heathrow’s Terminal 5. They will be competing against students at the University of West London, Loughborough College, University College Birmingham, Sheffield College and New City College.

Anthony Gascoigne, Lecturer at NHC, said:

“This is a huge achievement by Jon, Luke and Josh. Zest Quest is such a fiercely competitive contest, it really is a testament to their efforts and work ethic to get to the final.”

Kit Davies, Principal of North Hertfordshire College, said:

“The success of our students in national competitions over the last few years has been so impressive.

“We are often competing against colleges with much larger catering departments than us but thanks to our brilliant and inspiring tutors, we punch well above our weight. I am so proud of the team here and our success in giving our students the very best start to their careers in such a competitive industry.”

This amazing achievement follows the success of level 3 professional cookery student, Nyrali Calderon, who progressed through to the finals of the Young Risotto Chef Of The Year competition on Monday 18th November. Finalists will cook their chosen dish in front of judges on 20th January 2020. Competition winners will get the chance to visit the Riso Gallo rice mill in Italy, to understand more about how they grow and produce their risotto rice and will have the opportunity to cook for the family whilst there.

zest quest