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Trainee Chefs’ Zest Quest Asia Success

Updated: 16/02/2018

Trainee chefs at The Sheffield College have competed at the finals of a prestigious national catering competition this week.

Trainee Chefs’ Zest Quest Asia Success

Pictured: Trainee chefs Morgan Hopkinson, 18, Mia Leigh, 18, and Tom Lake, 18, competed in the Zest Quest Asia 2018 finals this week.

Students Morgan Hopkinson, 18, Tom Lake, 18, and Mia Leigh, 18, took part in Zest Quest Asia 2018 showcasing their skills, knowledge and cooking techniques in a range of Asian cuisines.

The students won a sub category of the main competition – the Tilda Award for the Best Use of Rice.

Mia said: “It was amazing to take part! We worked really hard and put our hearts into it. Our main dish won the best rice award, winning us a trip to the Tilda processing plant, accommodation and a meal.”

Morgan commented: “The speed and pressure of the competition was tough but it was really fun. I loved every minute of it. I would definitely recommend taking part to every young chef around the country. The skills and experience that you gain are well worth it.”

Tom added: “I loved taking part and learning about the different cuisine. I felt really proud of our team and the dishes that we made. I think it went really well on the day.”

The students made a starter comprising fresh spring rolls with prawns, vegetables, fragrant pork bonbon and glazed shrimp. Their main course was crisp gilthead bream, aubergine clay pot and fragrant jasmine rice. For dessert, they created Vietnamese crème caramel with glazed tropical fruits.

They are completing the Professional Chef’s Diploma at Level 3. The team has been mentored by catering tutor Joe Hunt, who is also Production Chef at the Silver Plate Restaurant at the College’s City campus on Granville Road.

Joe said:“I am extremely proud of our students. They performed really well under pressure. Along with Sheffield Hallam University, they also did a great job of representing the city."

He added:"Taking part in a high profile competition, backed by one of country’s leading chefs, provided them with a chance to showcase their talent and boosts their skills, industry contacts and career prospects.”

The overall competition winners were the University of West London. A team from Sheffield Hallam University also won two sub categories – the Chef’s Least Food Wasted Award and the Regale’s Award for the Best Presented Menu.

The College was one of six teams that took part. The other teams were Colchester Institute, North Hertfordshire College, Sheffield Hallam University, University of West London and Westminster Kingsway College.

The two-hour cook-off was held in Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen, the signature restaurant of gold sponsor Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 on February 12th. Competitors also took part in a question and answer session with the judges.

Zest Quest Asia was set up by restaurateurs Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala, with the support of The Master Chefs of Great Britain, to help combat skills shortages and gaps in the knowledge of traditional Asian cookery. Visit http://www.zestquestasia.com/

For more information about the next open evening on March 7th and courses starting this September, click here or call 0114 2602600.