The Master Chefs of Great Britain, four exquisite dishes, a room full of great company, three finalist teams, one passionate curator, the first Asian Junior Chefs Challenge… all the ingredients for a fabulous Friday night at Hilton, London Heathrow, Terminal 5.
Last Friday we were invited as Tilda Foodservice’s guests to witness the announcement of the winning team of the inaugural Asian Junior Chefs Challenge and to share and support Cyrus Todiwala’s, OBE DL, passion and vision to engender Asian cooking in to the blood of young talented chefs across the UK.
For Cyrus, owner of Café Spice Namasté, Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen and Park Café; sustainability, heritage, spice and culture are all things close to his heart when it comes to cooking. Teams were asked to think about each of these aspects very carefully and pull together a presentation to justify their four course Asian meal.
As well as Cyrus, our clients McCormick and Tilda Foodservice share this passion for Asian cuisine and were delighted to support the initiative, encouraging more student chefs to think about the potential of Asian cuisine. As sponsors, it was stipulated that as well as Cyrus’s key requirements, the menu had to include one dish using Tilda rice, spices sourced through McCormick and, wherever possible, British ingredients.
The results – three spectacular combinations of four-course Asian dinners had the judges spellbound, with Andrew Bennett, executive chef at Sheraton Park Lane, commenting, “We can honestly say there was not one bad dish from any of the finalists and it’s not often a judge can say that!”
All finalists including: Sam Jones, Theophil Dalton Maag and Nathan Gayle from Westminster Kingsway College; Manesh Komal, Neel Shah and Fern Lough from University of West London; and Samina Gul, Hassan Vinhani and Greg Situnayake from University College Birmingham should be very proud of themselves.
Our congratulations must go to the hard working and very deserving students at Westminster Kingsway College as they triumphed and cooked their way to victory!
Further congratulations must go to Cyrus Todiwala, OBE, DL and the Master Chefs of Great Britain for hosting such a brilliant competition from start to finish. It was overwhelming to see the support and passion surrounding Asian cuisine, the overall community in the chef world and the recognition everyone playing a part in hospitality receives – a humbling representation and celebration of the industry that we work in.
Here’s to next year’s – newly named – Zest Quest Asia
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