Competition Rules 2023

Competition Rules 2023

Gold Sponsors 2023

Gold Sponsors 2023

tilda-logo-2
panasonic-logo-2
cobra-logo-2
meiko-logo-2
schwartz
hilton-logo-2
mikzan
tilda-logo-2
panasonic-logo-2
cobra-logo-2
meiko-logo-2
schwartz
hilton-logo-2
mikzan
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“We are developing a pipeline of young home grown cooks who truly understand and have the ability to prepare food in an authentic Asian style. They are the future of our industry.”

Cyrus Todiwala OBE DL
Founder of Zest Quest Asia

Zest Quest Asia is a team competition designed to demonstrate the student competitor’s technical expertise, creativity, knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Asian cuisine. The winning team will win the opportunity of a lifetime to embark on a culinary study tour to an Asian destination.

Who can enter?

Please read this section carefully as the prize will be arranged from the UK on specific dates. These dates cannot be amended.

This competition is open to college students enrolled on a full-time, recognised catering course, and who are permanent residents of the United Kingdom.  Students who are in the UK short-term or under a student visa are excluded from entering the competition. There is NO age limit.

Zest Quest Asia is a team competition designed to demonstrate the student competitor’s technical expertise, creativity, knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Asian cuisine. The winning team will win the opportunity of a lifetime to embark on a culinary study tour to an Asian destination.

Who can enter?

Please read this section carefully as the prize will be arranged from the UK on specific dates. These dates cannot be amended.

This competition is open to college students enrolled on a full-time, recognised catering course, and who are permanent residents of the United Kingdom.  Students who are in the UK short-term or under a student visa are excluded from entering the competition. There is NO age limit.

Entry Rules

  1. Teams are to be made up of three students and one lecturer/mentor.  There are no limits to the number of teams any one institution can enter.  
  2. Each team should produce a four course (see below), authentic meal from the chosen Asian Cuisine for three covers. It can be developed to have a modern twist or presentation.  Efforts to be made to use the main ingredient in each course sourced and produced in the United Kingdom.  
  • Amuse
  • Starter
  • Main course
  • Dessert

The presentation of the dishes can be modernised, but the essence of the dishes must remain authentic with a focus on traditional cooking techniques and ingredients.  

  • SPONSOR PRODUCTS – The following sponsors’ products will need to be incorporated in the menu as stated. A template will be provided to supply the information of how and where these products meet the criteria. Additional information and links to tutorials will be sent once interest is registered and will be available on the Zest Quest Asia website.
  • McCormick: The Amuse needs to incorporate Mixed Herbs and Sriracha from the Schwartz range of products.  
  • Tilda Rice: Tilda rice needs to be used in its natural form (no rice flours, noodles, pasta etc.) and the rice needs to be the HERO of the dish and can be incorporated in any course of your choice except the Amuse.
  • Mizkan Yuzu Ponzu: This product must be incorporated in the menu and then specified on the information sheet where it has been used. (Samples will be supplied along with tutorial on the best use, which is not limited to just Japanese cuisine. You may also incorporate Shiragiku Sake Lees or Honteri Mizkan seasoning but these products are not compulsory] 
  • Panasonic Combination Oven: Three cooking combinations will need to be used during the process of producing your menu. Finalist will be sent an oven to practise with.
  • Hallde CC-34 Combi Cutter/Food processor: This machine must be used during the competition and all finalists will be sent a unit to practise with.
  1. No drinks are required unless we ask you to pair a dish with a sponsor’s beverage OR the tradition of your dish includes a beverage.  No additional marks will be given for drinks presented that do not fall under the above criteria.
  2. Each team will be able to appoint a lecturer to work with them to assist with their research and paper entry, and if the team is selected, be present at the cook off.
Competition stages

STAGE ONE is to register your interest with Cora Stachan at [email protected] 

You will then be sent links to online tutorials and masterclass giving you advice and information about how to use and get the best from sponsors products.

STAGE TWO will require each team to fill in the entry form and send to Cora Strachan at [email protected] along with:

    1. Menu
    2. Recipe and method for each element – sub recipes are not required at this stage
    3. Timings
  • Costings (including cost price AND selling price) and the type of dining establishment your menu represents e.g., fine dining, family, brasserie etc. A reference to where you acquired the cost prices of ingredients is also required. 
  1. Photographs of dishes (if selected as a finalist, the presentation of the dishes in these photos is not binding; it is merely to give the judges an indication of your intentions and how your dish looks)
  2. Details of team members and background information such as course being studied, why the interest in food, aspirations for the future. A reminder here that only full-time students that are permanent residents of the United Kingdom are eligible to enter. Passport copies are required to ascertain permanent residency.

*Please use the templates provided with your entry form for points 1-4*

Last date for entries: Friday 16th December 2022. Please note there WILL NOT be an extension to this deadline    

STAGE THREE

Paper Judging will take place over the Christmas period, and the finalists will be announced on Wednesday 4th Jan 2023.  Teams will be notified by email whether they have been successful or unsuccessful in progressing to the cook-off stage. 

STAGE FOUR

The Cook-Off

The Cook-Off and Gala Awards dinner will be held at the Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 on Friday 17th February 2023

  1. A maximum of 2 hours is allowed to produce the four-course meal for three covers from the recipes and working methods supplied by the competitor. Recipes, costings and working methods for the finalists can be updated prior to the final cook off but must reach Cora Strachan by Friday 10th February 2023. This is because the marks for costings and menu balance will be completed prior to the competition by the judges.
  2. Competitors should provide their own ingredients, knives, kitchen equipment and presentation plates.  In some circumstances, teams will be required to use sponsors’ products but if so, teams will be informed accordingly, and samples will be provided for practice.
  3. Three portions per dish are required to be prepared and this should be reflected in the amount of food brought to the cook-off itself.  (See note 6)
  4. Presentation copies of competitors’ menus should be typed and presented with the dishes, with basic explanations as in a restaurant menu, including allergens
  5. It is recognised that some items of mis en place may need to be brought to the cook-off. These items must be documented in the recipe.  Ingredients may be marinated in advance, but no pre-cooking is allowed.  You must be able to demonstrate on the day, if requested, any elements of your mis en place. Failure to meet these rules has led to teams being disqualified in the past. Please ensure that the selected menu that can be prepared in 2 hours.
  6. Each competitor will be provided with a food waste bin, which must be used. By minimising the waste generated, you can achieve a maximum mark of 5% of the total in this category.  Points will be deducted for excessive wastage. This represents food waste, blue rolls, energy wastage, cling wrap etc. There is also a for minimum use of waste.
  7. During the cook-off from the lecturer is not permitted to cook or coach from the side-line, simply observe.  However, they are allowed to aid with set up and clear down.
  8. During the set-up period, no cooking is allowed and there will be a 10-minute break between set up and the start of the competition to allow competitors to collect their thoughts and the judges to brief the competitors.
  9. The judges will be looking at the following marking criteria and points allocated to performance:
    • Costing 5%
    • Wastage 5%
    • Use of the Sponsors’ products 5%
    • Workmanship, hygiene, timings 15%
    • Authenticity of the dishes 10%
    • Presentation of the dishes 10%
    • Taste and Flavour of the dishes 15%
    • Teamwork 10%
    • Final team presentation on Asian menu 25%`

10. Only judges and competitors are allowed to taste the competitors’ presented plates
11. Health and Safety procedures must be strictly observed during the competition
12. Teams must adhere to the timed itinerary
13. The team can start serving their first course after 1 hour of the competition commencing

STAGE FIVE

Team Presentation and Q&A Session

After the cook-off sessions, each team will take part in a 10 – 15-minute presentation delivering the learnings they have developed during the research part of the competition about their chosen Asian Cuisine

The presentation is to possibly cover the following points but not exclusively. If you feel that other facts you have established are more important to your presentation, please share these with us.

  • Why you chose the Country and Cuisine, and what you like about it
  • How culture/religion may have influenced the dishes in the chosen menu
  • How the chosen dishes have been influenced by past gastronomy and the emerging culinary trends, as well as the rationale behind the choice of dishes and beverages
  • The type of restaurant/style of service that would suit the chosen menu and price structure
  • Sustainability of the key ingredients in the menu and what impact these may have on the environment, economy, lifestyle, etc

*Please remember that this stage carries 25% of the total marks*

Note: There is no requirement to use visual aids but if you wish to, please ensure that the Hotel team is briefed and helps to set it up.

Competition Rules

    1. Teams are to be made up of three students and one lecturer/mentor.  There are no limits to the number of teams any one institution can enter.  
    2. Each team should produce a four course (see below), authentic meal from the chosen Asian Cuisine for three covers. It can be developed to have a modern twist or presentation.  Efforts to be made to use the main ingredient in each course sourced and produced in the United Kingdom.  
    • Amuse
    • Starter
    • Main course
    • Dessert

    The presentation of the dishes can be modernised, but the essence of the dishes must remain authentic with a focus on traditional cooking techniques and ingredients.  

    • SPONSOR PRODUCTS – The following sponsors’ products will need to be incorporated in the menu as stated. A template will be provided to supply the information of how and where these products meet the criteria. Additional information and links to tutorials will be sent once interest is registered and will be available on the Zest Quest Asia website.
    • McCormick: The Amuse needs to incorporate Mixed Herbs and Sriracha from the Schwartz range of products.  
    • Tilda Rice: Tilda rice needs to be used in its natural form (no rice flours, noodles, pasta etc.) and the rice needs to be the HERO of the dish and can be incorporated in any course of your choice except the Amuse.
    • Mizkan Yuzu Ponzu: This product must be incorporated in the menu and then specified on the information sheet where it has been used. (Samples will be supplied along with tutorial on the best use, which is not limited to just Japanese cuisine. You may also incorporate Shiragiku Sake Lees or Honteri Mizkan seasoning but these products are not compulsory] 
    • Panasonic Combination Oven: Three cooking combinations will need to be used during the process of producing your menu. Finalist will be sent an oven to practise with.
    • Hallde CC-34 Combi Cutter/Food processor: This machine must be used during the competition and all finalists will be sent a unit to practise with.
    1. No drinks are required unless we ask you to pair a dish with a sponsor’s beverage OR the tradition of your dish includes a beverage.  No additional marks will be given for drinks presented that do not fall under the above criteria.
    2. Each team will be able to appoint a lecturer to work with them to assist with their research and paper entry, and if the team is selected, be present at the cook off.
    Competition stages

    STAGE ONE is to register your interest with Cora Stachan at [email protected] 

    You will then be sent links to online tutorials and masterclass giving you advice and information about how to use and get the best from sponsors products.

    STAGE TWO will require each team to fill in the entry form and send to Cora Strachan at [email protected] along with:

      1. Menu
      2. Recipe and method for each element – sub recipes are not required at this stage
      3. Timings
    • Costings (including cost price AND selling price) and the type of dining establishment your menu represents e.g., fine dining, family, brasserie etc. A reference to where you acquired the cost prices of ingredients is also required. 
    1. Photographs of dishes (if selected as a finalist, the presentation of the dishes in these photos is not binding; it is merely to give the judges an indication of your intentions and how your dish looks)
    2. Details of team members and background information such as course being studied, why the interest in food, aspirations for the future. A reminder here that only full-time students that are permanent residents of the United Kingdom are eligible to enter. Passport copies are required to ascertain permanent residency.

    *Please use the templates provided with your entry form for points 1-4*

    Last date for entries: Friday 16th December 2022. Please note there WILL NOT be an extension to this deadline    

    STAGE THREE

    Paper Judging will take place over the Christmas period, and the finalists will be announced on Wednesday 4th Jan 2023.  Teams will be notified by email whether they have been successful or unsuccessful in progressing to the cook-off stage. 

    STAGE FOUR

    The Cook-Off

    The Cook-Off and Gala Awards dinner will be held at the Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 on Friday 17th February 2023

    1. A maximum of 2 hours is allowed to produce the four-course meal for three covers from the recipes and working methods supplied by the competitor. Recipes, costings and working methods for the finalists can be updated prior to the final cook off but must reach Cora Strachan by Friday 10th February 2023. This is because the marks for costings and menu balance will be completed prior to the competition by the judges.
    2. Competitors should provide their own ingredients, knives, kitchen equipment and presentation plates.  In some circumstances, teams will be required to use sponsors’ products but if so, teams will be informed accordingly, and samples will be provided for practice.
    3. Three portions per dish are required to be prepared and this should be reflected in the amount of food brought to the cook-off itself.  (See note 6)
    4. Presentation copies of competitors’ menus should be typed and presented with the dishes, with basic explanations as in a restaurant menu, including allergens
    5. It is recognised that some items of mis en place may need to be brought to the cook-off. These items must be documented in the recipe.  Ingredients may be marinated in advance, but no pre-cooking is allowed.  You must be able to demonstrate on the day, if requested, any elements of your mis en place. Failure to meet these rules has led to teams being disqualified in the past. Please ensure that the selected menu that can be prepared in 2 hours.
    6. Each competitor will be provided with a food waste bin, which must be used. By minimising the waste generated, you can achieve a maximum mark of 5% of the total in this category.  Points will be deducted for excessive wastage. This represents food waste, blue rolls, energy wastage, cling wrap etc. There is also a for minimum use of waste.
    7. During the cook-off from the lecturer is not permitted to cook or coach from the side-line, simply observe.  However, they are allowed to aid with set up and clear down.
    8. During the set-up period, no cooking is allowed and there will be a 10-minute break between set up and the start of the competition to allow competitors to collect their thoughts and the judges to brief the competitors.
    9. The judges will be looking at the following marking criteria and points allocated to performance:
      • Costing 5%
      • Wastage 5%
      • Use of the Sponsors’ products 5%
      • Workmanship, hygiene, timings 15%
      • Authenticity of the dishes 10%
      • Presentation of the dishes 10%
      • Taste and Flavour of the dishes 15%
      • Teamwork 10%
      • Final team presentation on Asian menu 25%`

    10. Only judges and competitors are allowed to taste the competitors’ presented plates
    11. Health and Safety procedures must be strictly observed during the competition
    12. Teams must adhere to the timed itinerary
    13. The team can start serving their first course after 1 hour of the competition commencing

    STAGE FIVE

    Team Presentation and Q&A Session

    After the cook-off sessions, each team will take part in a 10 – 15-minute presentation delivering the learnings they have developed during the research part of the competition about their chosen Asian Cuisine

    The presentation is to possibly cover the following points but not exclusively. If you feel that other facts you have established are more important to your presentation, please share these with us.

    • Why you chose the Country and Cuisine, and what you like about it
    • How culture/religion may have influenced the dishes in the chosen menu
    • How the chosen dishes have been influenced by past gastronomy and the emerging culinary trends, as well as the rationale behind the choice of dishes and beverages
    • The type of restaurant/style of service that would suit the chosen menu and price structure
    • Sustainability of the key ingredients in the menu and what impact these may have on the environment, economy, lifestyle, etc

    *Please remember that this stage carries 25% of the total marks*

    Note: There is no requirement to use visual aids but if you wish to, please ensure that the Hotel team is briefed and helps to set it up.

Zest Quest Asia's Sponsors

Invaluable sponsorship in cash and kind have come from great friends, both individuals
and companies, who share Zest Quest Asia’s mission to make a difference.

Zest Quest Asia's Sponsors

Invaluable sponsorship in cash and kind have come from great friends, both individuals and companies, who share Zest Quest Asia’s mission to make a difference.

© All rights reserved Zest Quest Asia. Website designed & developed by Graphic Kitchen. Powered by evokeu.

© All rights reserved Zest Quest Asia. Website designed & developed by evokeu.