University of West London
(London, 23rd February 2023) University of West London have won Zest Quest Asia 2023. This marks the third time since the launch of the student culinary competition ten years ago that a team from the university’s London Geller College of Hospitality and Tourism has taken first place.
The results of the live cook off and knowledge presentations that comprise the finals of Zest Quest Asia were announced at a Gala Dinner and Awards Night held at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Centre London Heathrow on Friday, 17th February 2023. Some 250 guests, including representatives from colleges, industry, and the media attended the glittering evening, which included a raffle and auction to raise funds for the Todiwala Foundation.
For their efforts, Nekeshia Alcee, Olivia Parker-Smith and Prema Rebekah Kaur Sembi-Harding and their tutor, Nathan Vasanthan, bagged a trip of a lifetime – a week-long culinary and cultural journey to Bangkok, Thailand. Nathan is a seasoned Zest Quest Asia tutor, having coached and accompanied previous University of West London Zest Quest Asia champions to Manila and Hanoi.
This year, the judges were impressed by the team’s Vietnamese-inspired 4-course menu consisting of an amuse bouche of Dorset clam dumplings with Sriracha and mixed herbs; a starter of Tomato and mushroom Pho with tomato brittles; a main course of Banh chung – a Northern Vietnamese rice dish served during the Lunar Year, Lemongrass and Chilli Chicken with stir-friend broccoli stems and cabage served with carrot, daikon and Kohlrabi pickle; and a dessert of Honteri-miso glazed sticky rice banana cake with creamy coconut sauce, roasted peanuts.