The winning team stood out for its Vietnamese-inspired menu comprised of a Goi cuon amuse bouche, a summer roll made from homemade turmeric rice rolls, filled with watermelon, seasoned with lime, salt and sriracha seasoning, beansprouts, and toasted cashews; a Bahn Khot starter, crispy pancake made with toasted jasmine rice, basmati rice flour, turmeric, puffed wild rice, seasoned with sriracha; a Bun Cha main course, caramelised seiten balls with basmati rice noodles, pickled vegetables, and a dessert of Vietnamese Vanilla Sponge, soaked in rum syrup with Vietnamese coffee ice cream and rum-macerated pineapple.
Zest Quest Asia was founded by restaurateurs Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala with the support of the Master Chefs of Great Britain in 2013. This year, 2022, marked the long-awaited return of the live cook-off and ‘in person’ awards evening after a pandemic-induced two-year gap, which the organisers filled with three successful on-line spinoffs.
Cyrus Todiwala OBE DL FIH said, “I am so proud of the fact that our Zest Quest Asia competitors were performing like true professionals, with the attitude and mindset of winners. Their menus were exceptional, and the judges and I were taken aback by the scale of their ambition, with one college even offering a menu tracing the length of the Silk Road. But despite the tightness of the competition, there could only be one overall winner, and The Sheffield College inspired our imaginations and taste buds with a brilliantly executed menu that captured the cooking techniques and tastes of Vietnam.
“We are deeply grateful to our sponsors and supporters, many of whom have worked closely with the students and colleges to ensure they could incorporate the latest industry trends in ingredients, flavours and technology. And having experienced the Philippines myself, I cannot begin to describe the exciting world that awaits our winners in Don Papa Rum’s ‘Sugarlandia’! Congratulations to the worthy winners.”