Cyrus Todiwala OBE DL, chef patron of landmark Indian restaurant, Café Spice Namaste, and co-founder with Pervin Todiwala of Zest Quest Asia, has been busy encouraging friends and associates in industry and education to support the student finalists of Zest Quest Asia at the competition’s eleventh gala dinner and awards night in February next year.

Since launching Zest Quest Asia 2024, interest has flowed in from colleges across the UK and, following an ‘Upskill Day’ run by Zest Quest Asia director Murray Chapman, for the second year running, a college from Scotland, Highland College, has fielded a team; a sure sign that the competition is gaining traction north of the border.

Cyrus is confident that the fact that Zest Quest Asia 2024 has already attracted a number of excellent sponsors – including long-time supporter Tilda Foodservice, this year debuting as headline sponsor – means the industry is starting to throw its full weight behind the competition, launched in 2013 with the support of the Master Chefs of Great Britain.  Further evidence is the support this year of the Institute of Hospitality, the prestigious 85-year-old global professional body.

Hilton has returned as a gold sponsor, offering its 4-star Hilton London Wembley hotel as the venue for the 3-course gala dinner to be prepared by Cyrus on 27th February.  Hilton is also offering special accommodation rates for those who choose to celebrate the Zest Quest Asia finalists on the night.

Cyrus Todiwala said, “In the past we have been pleased to welcome many of our industry brethren to the Zest Quest Asia gala dinner.  They’ve come to support a competition that recognises talent in Asian cuisine among young student chefs.  It’s a talent that if nurtured and celebrated can give so much confidence to people especially in these days of global uncertainty.  One thing is for sure – the world is looking eastward.  Zest Quest Asia is helping to prepare our great industry for this eventuality.  I urge you to join us on 27th February at the Hilton London Wembley hotel, and thank all our sponsors for being there for us.  Everything we make from ticket sales goes back to supporting this great competition, which has already helped to change the perspective of Asian cookery and cuisine among hundreds of student chefs.  Besides, don’t we all want to learn which secret Asian culinary destination awaits our new champions?”

As is tradition, the canapes at the drinks reception preceding the gala dinner will be prepared by current Zest Quest Asia champions, University of West London, who spent over a week in Bangkok as their main prize, but also won two days in Italy, courtesy of Tilda Foodservice.

Tickets for the Gala Dinner and Awards Night are now on sale priced at £110pp, or £1,000 per table of 10, and include the drinks reception and 3-course dinner with wines.  Please follow this link to book.

For more information on Zest Quest Asia 2024 visit

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the editor

Editor of Curry Culture and lover of IPA. I wanted to create something that highlighted the best of the industry to both those who work in it and the public who love it so much. Curry Culture is the result so I hope you enjoy it.

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