- 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.
- 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.
- Main course
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.
- 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.
- 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.
STAGE ONE is to register your interest with Cora Stachan at [email protected]
You will then be sent advice and information about how to use and get the best from sponsors’ products. This could include online tutorials which you will be notified about in due course. This is the time to start researching, planning and practising your menu.
Please note all teams that all colleges that register their interest in entering Zest Quest Asia will be given access to a tutorial given by the Tokyo College of Sushi and Washoku. You will be able to pick up hints and tips on the cultural history of Japanese cuisine, ingredients and Washoku.
Deadline to register interest 3rd November 2023.
STAGE TWO all college lecturers from colleges who have registered will be invited to attend an online forum with Steve Munkley, Chairman of Judges and Cyrus where Steve will guide you through how to complete your entry form to maximum effect, and to help you understand what the judges will be looking for. The tutorial will be recorded and will be available for any colleges unable to join on the day.
Date of Tutorial 9th November about 2.30/3pm
STAGE THREE will require each team to fill in the entry form and send to Cora Strachan at [email protected] along with:
- Recipe and method for each element – sub recipes are not required at this stage
- 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.
- Confirmation of where /how you have used the compulsory sponsors’ products.
- 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)
- 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. No other ID will be accepted.
- Please forward a photo of the team (students only) in chef whites as all finalists will be featured in the brochure for the Gala Dinner where the winners will be announced.
*Please use the templates provided with your entry form for points 1-5
Last date for entries: Friday 8th December 2023. Please note there WILL NOT be an extension to this deadline
Paper Judging will take place over the Christmas period, and the finalists will be announced on Wednesday 3rd Jan 2024. Teams will be notified by email whether they have been successful or unsuccessful in progressing to the cook-off stage.
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, then you may – no marks are awarded for the use of technology. Teams are not required to bring printed laminated packs for the judges. It is best that they demonstrate all that they wish to either by way of AV presentation or verbal and spoken.
Teams will each be allocated a table outside of the presentation room, on which to create a display to complement their menu – the tables may be brought in for the duration of the presentation. The displays will be left in situ until after the Gala Dinner the following night for guests to view, and will be photographed plus filmed with the video being shown to guests during the dinner
The presentations will take place at the Hilton, Wembley who will also host the Gala Dinner where the winners of ZQA will be announced the following evening. (Accommodation will be provided for all teams at the Hilton Wembley on the 26th and 27th February, where appropriate this will be on a shared basis).
The Cook-Off will take place at University West London (UWL) on Tuesday 27th February 2024.
A maximum of 2 hours is allowed to produce the four-course meal for four covers from the recipes and working methods supplied by the colleges. Recipes, costings and working methods for the finalists can be updated prior to the final cook off but must reach Cora Strachan by Tuesday 20th February 2024. This is because the marks for costings and menu balance will be completed prior to the competition by the judges.
All basic equipment will be provided by UWL who have very well-equipped kitchens. Colleges to bring only knives and any specialist equipment needed to prepare their menu. All ingredients to be provided by the colleges. 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.
- Four 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)
- Presentation copies of competitors’ menus should be typed and presented with the dishes, with basic explanations as in a restaurant menu, including allergens.
- It is recognised that some items of mise 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 mise en place – ie all ingredients used in the mise en place should be brought with you, and the method demonstrated during the cook-off. 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.
- 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 prize for minimum use of waste.
- 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.
- 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.
- The judges will be looking at the following marking criteria and points allocated to performance:
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%
Final team presentation on Asian menu 25%
- 10. Only judges, sponsors and competitors are allowed to taste the competitors’ presented plates11. Health and Safety procedures must be strictly observed during the competition12. Teams must adhere to the timed itinerary13. The team can start serving their first course after 1 hour of the competition commencing
- Please ensure that you have also read the full terms and conditions for the competition. These are also available with additional information at www.zestquestasia.co.uk