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11th March 2021

Cyrus Todiwala reveals Zest Quest Asia Tilda Challenge finalists

Written by: Edward Waddell
Twelve students from ten colleges across the UK have advanced to the next stage of the Zest Quest Asia Tilda Challenge.

Launched in January 2021, the Zest Quest Asia Tilda Challenge attracted more than 90 entries from over 20 colleges. So high was the calibre of submissions that the judges made the decision to double the number of finalists from six to 12.

Seven cuisines were represented in the finalists dishes, including Japanese, Indian, Chinese, Indonesian, Filipino, Korean and Thai.

The Zest Quest Asia Tilda Challenge finalists include:

  • Graciela Baltazar (Bridgwater & Taunton)
  • Joe Cooper (Sheffield)
  • Josh Davies (North Hertfordshire)
  • Luke Harker (West Suffolk College)
  • Oliver Herrington (Sheffield)
  • Jodie McKenna (South Lanarkshire)
  • Sara Szmit (Grimsby Institute)
  • Parichat Tachadee (Cambridge Regional)
  • Brannon Underwood (Loughborough)
  • Julia Willis (New College Durham)
  • Killoran Wills (University College Birmingham)
  • Todd Woolston (North Hertfordshire)

Cyrus Todiwala said: “I would like to congratulate all of our Zest Quest Asia Tilda Challenge finalists. To those who didn’t make it this time, never give up as there will be many other opportunities for you to showcase your talent and ambition.

“We are proud of you all and it really was a challenge for the judges amid so many spectacular efforts. I want to thank Chef Sey Millington in particular for undertaking the heroic task of helping us to collate all 92 entries from 27 colleges.

“Personally, it is deeply rewarding to see budding chefs from so many colleges in the UK start to unearth and embrace the mysteries and challenges of Asian cookery and cuisine. That their tutors continue to take a keen interest in this subject area bodes well for the future of catering education.”

The 12 finalists will compete in a virtual cook-off to be held in the kitchens of their respective colleges on 31 March 2021.

Annette Coggins, head of foodservice at Tilda UK, added: “Inspiring student chefs has always been a passion of Tilda’s. To see so many well thought out entries following the tutorials has been fantastic to see.

“We are so glad that despite the challenges of the past year, the spirit and determination of the next generation of chefs has not been diminished. We’re excited for the final and to see how our finalists can show us their exploration of all the wonderful possibilities of Tilda rice and Asian cuisine!”