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Sheffield College hold onto title with double win at Zest Quest Asia 2022!

19 April 2022

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Student chefs from Sheffield College wowed judges during the recent Zest Quest Asia finals, taking home the esteemed Tilda Special Award. Winning an exclusive trip to Italy with Tilda, along with being named overall champions of the 2022 competition.

Announced live at the gala dinner and awards evening, chefs Jack Hayes, Max Heath and Rhiannon Siddall from Sheffield College celebrated the double win on Friday 8th April. Zest Quest Asia founders Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala welcomed the student chefs to the winner’s circle, lauding their winning dishes as a festival of flavour!

Mentored by Chef Lecturer Andrew Gabbitas, Jack, Max and Rhiannon prepared a Banh Khot starter which comprised three Tilda rice varieties (Wild, Jasmine and Basmati), Bun Cha main with Tilda Basmati rice noodles and a traditional Vietnamese dessert flavoured with coffee and rum, using Tilda rice milk. The judges felt the dishes went ‘above and beyond every part of the criteria’ with their creativity, good flavour, texture and skill, as well as the addition of an amuse bouche of Goi Cuon (a Vietnamese summer roll) made from Tilda Basmati rice flour.

As the new winners of Tilda’s prestigious award, the trio will enjoy an exclusive, all expenses paid, two-night trip to Northern Italy where they will be able to experience the region’s finest food and explore the rice fields where the world-famous Tilda rice is grown.

Annette Coggins, Head of Foodservice, Tilda UK said of the competition:

“We’re stunned each year by the dishes created by the talented student chefs that take part in Zest Quest Asia and this year was no exception. The competition was tougher than ever – and the students really put the judges through their paces! The dishes created by our new champions were exceptional. We’d like to extend our congratulations to all of the finalists; we’re thrilled to see that the future of Asian cuisine is in good hands!”

The exciting final was judged by Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala; Murray Chapman, founder of charity, A Passion to Inspire; Vice President of the Craft Guild of Chefs Steve Munkley; Food and Wine Professional Clive Roberts; Saravanan Palanipandichamy, Senior Sous Chef at The Dorchester; Head Pastry Chef at The Royal Household Sarah Hartnett; as well as Jo Witchell from Tilda Foodservice.

Cyrus Todiwala, added:

“We’re in awe of the standard that the finalists were cooking at, the food presented this year is what we’d expect from senior competitions – these young chefs absolutely blew our minds away. The students from Sheffield College are such worthy winners and they should be incredibly proud of what they achieved. Their creativity, the effort that went in and putting it all together – they were brilliant.”

The competition is headline sponsored by Tilda Foodservice who, in collaboration with the Todiwalas, hope to inspire student chefs across the UK to consider Asian cookery as a future career by recognising outstanding talent, knowledge and understanding of the cuisine. Together they hope to place classical Asian cookery firmly on the curriculum, as well as build on the skills needed for future chefs to succeed in the Asian food industry.