Skip to main content
16th November 2021

Cyrus Todiwala reveals Zest Quest Asia Panasonic Autumn Challenge winner

Written by: Edward Waddell
Cyrus Todiwala, co-founder of Zest Quest Asia, revealed Emily Simkins as the overall winner of the Panasonic Autumn Challenge.

Simkins, a level 2 catering and hospitality student at North Herefordshire College, emerged as the winner after cooking her Thai salmon in spicy coconut sauce, which she prepared using a Panasonic NEC1275 professional combination microwave oven.

In keeping with the competition rules, she submitted a video capturing the step-by-step preparation of her dish, applying both traditional methods and state-of-the-art microwave technology.

Anthony Gascoigne, lecturer at North Hertfordshire College, who as her tutor had provided encouragement to Emily throughout the competition, said: “The college had Twitter live on screen as all the students waited around for the results of the competition. When it was announced that Emily had won, all our students were able to see what can be achieved through commitment and hard work.

“High fives and fist bumps all around. This has raised the aspirations of a whole year group of young chefs. Thanks to Zest Quest Asia, Panasonic and everyone involved for providing the platform four our students to get creative, compete and be inspired!”

North Hertfordshire College will now be able to install the combination microwave oven permanently in its training kitchens. Simkins and her tutor will receive a Santoku knife and a £50 voucher from Russums, suppliers of catering and clothing equipment.

Cyrus Todiwala, who was among the judges of the competition alongside Pervin Todiwala, Murray Chapman and Panasonic development chef Scott Kedwards, added: “Emily went through great lengths to display her ingredients, explain each step she took in the process of creating her winning dish, and demonstrated a deep understanding of what microwave technology, could do.

“Her performance was consistent throughout and as judges we could just imagine the depths of flavour. We’re pleased that the main prize actually goes to Emily’s college. For a such a young person to be able to share her success in this way is a remarkable achievement, because this amazing piece of kit will help enrich the knowledge and experience of her peers and lecturers as well.”