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Talented Hackney Chefs go forward to Zest Quest Asia 2020 Finals Cook Off

Three talented culinary arts students at New City College have won coveted places in the Zest Quest Asia 2020 finals.

Rebekah, Jenai and Denique, who are all studying Level 3 Professional Cookery Diplomas at the college's Hackney campus and will compete against other colleges in the live cook-off final on Friday 7th February 2020.

The final will be held at the restaurant of the Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 and the students will face competition from other culinary talents at Loughborough College, New City College, North Hertfordshire College, Sheffield College, University College Birmingham, and University of West London.

The winners of the final will be announced at a Gala Dinner and Awards Night to be held at the hotel that evening.

Founded by Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala in 2013 in collaboration with the Master Chefs of Great Britain, Zest Quest Asia is the student catering competition that recognises outstanding talent, knowledge and understanding of Asian cuisine. The competition is on its seventh round, and is open to all full-time students with British citizenship or permanent UK residency status, who work in teams of three.

The competition is noted for its rigorous criteria and exacting standards, but also for the range of prizes that await the winners and competitors, not least of which is a seven-day cultural and education trip to an Asian destination. Previous winners have visited India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines, and the first prize destination is always a kept a closely guarded secret until the Gala Dinner.

Apart from the first prize trip, this year's finalists are in the running to win a trip to Italy, courtesy of Tilda, a gold sponsor of Zest Quest Asia for the last six years. Other sponsors are Castelnau, Cobra, Glengoyne, Hilton, Meiko, Panasonic, Regale and Robot Coupe.

Cyrus Todiwala said, Congratulations to the six colleges that came through and we very much look forward to great things from you in February. As long as you focus on key areas such as flavour, technique, the use of ingredients, sustainability and presentation, and can prove your knowledge and understanding behind your chosen menus, you can't go wrong. Very well done so far!

Talented Hackney Chefs go forward to Zest Quest Asia 2020 Finals Cook Off