Skip to main content
24th November 2021

Zest Quest Asia 2022 returning to original format

Written by: Edward Waddell
After a two-year gap filled by three successful online spin-offs, Zest Quest Asia is returning in its original format, with colleges and student chefs invited to submit their entries to Zest Quest Asia 2022.

The competition, which was founded by restaurateurs Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala with the involvement of Master Chefs of Great Britain, aims to recognise ‘outstanding knowledge and understanding’ of Asian Cuisine.

Since its launch in 2013, Zest Quest Asia has been credited with raising awareness of Asian flavours, cooking styles and techniques among a new generation of college-trained chefs. College lecturers are encouraged to get involved, by helping to motivate and mentor students who may be preparing Asian cuisine for the first time.

Zest Quest Asia aims to help stem the skills shortage in Asian cuisine threatening the billion-pound Asian food industry, as well as encourage educators to include classical Asian cookery in the curriculum. 

The competition is open to full-time students with permanent residency status in the UK. Colleges are invited to field teams of three students (plus their tutor) who compete for a first prize consisting of a seven to ten-day cultural tour of an Asian culinary capital.

Students from University College Birmingham were crowned Zest Quest Asia champions in 2020 and will be embarking on a belated prize trip to Bangkok. Previous winners have visited Mumbai, Colombo, Manila, Tokyo, Osaka and Hanoi.

Cyrus Todiwala said: “It’s great to be able to launch Zest Quest Asia in its traditional form, as a live event followed by a dinner which we hope will be widely attended by everyone who has a stake in the growth of Asian cuisine in this country.

“Thanks to great supporters like Tilda and Panasonic, we were able to pivot to an on-line version of Zest Quest Asia which served students well during the lockdowns.

“But we’re back where we should be, and my aim now is for Zest Quest Asia to continue to give opportunities and experiences to student chefs through the pursuit of excellence in Asian cuisine. I hope to see many entries this year from talented and ambitious students. Superb prizes await!”

To submit expressions of interest and for details on how to enter Zest Quest Asia 2022 colleges should visit or contact Cora Strachan at [email protected] in the first instance.

Key dates:

  • The deadline for entries is Monday, 24th January 2022.
  • The shortlist will be revealed on Monday, 31st January 2022
  • The final cook off and awards dinner to be held on Friday, 18th February 2022 at the Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5