Published on September 16, 2020

One of NHC’s catering students, Luke Watkins, had a great run at the first Zest Quest Asia Summer Challenge, established by celebrity chefs Cyrus Todiwala and Pervin Todiwala. Luke impressed judges with his ‘very original’ Chinese-inspired honey and soy sauce-glazed duck breast and won a Highly Commended prize.

Luke Watkins, who was studying a Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Advanced Professional Cookery, has now gained his qualification and is starting his career as a trained Chef at The Fox at William in Letchworth.

At the start of the summer-term, Cyrus Todiwala and Pervin Todiwala announced the launch of their first Zest Quest Asia Summer Challenge. 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.

Students were required to prepare their favourite Asian-inspired starter, main or dessert to share on social media, tagging @ZestQuestAsia and #ZestQuestAsiaSummerChallange.

Chefs were also required to provide details on the recipe, along with information on the history behind the dish, why they chose it and any problems they might have faced when preparing their dish.


Luke said:

“I felt very overwhelmed once I received the news about winning the prize for highly commended, as I put a lot of work into my dish.

“The lead up to the competition was very exciting as I was able to create a dish of my own from a part of the world that I knew very little about. Being able to research different dishes gave me a better understanding of Asian cuisine.”

Overall competition winners were announced during the start of September, with prizes including a dine-in experience at Mr Todiwala’s restaurants located around London, signed cookbooks and exposure on the Zest Quest social media accounts.

For more information on the competition, visit ZestQuestAsia.org or search #ZestQuestAsiaSummerChallenge on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.