Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala (squoosh)

Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala announce Zest Quest Asia – Panasonic Autumn Challenge Finalists

Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala are proud to announce the three finalists who will go forward to the cook-offs of the Zest Quest Asia – Panasonic Autumn Challenge, the latest on-line spinoff of their popular student culinary competition, Zest Quest Asia.

Alfie Joe Alsop of Cambridge Regional College, Matas Gestautas of New City College (Redbridge Campus) and Emily Simkins of North Hertfordshire College were picked from a field of over twenty students, each having submitted a recipe for an Asian-inspired dish that can be part-cooked in a Panasonic professional combination microwave oven. Both Alfie and Matas looked to Korea, with Alfie putting forward a Korean Bibimbap and Matas offering his version of a Bulgogi Korean BBQ short ribs dish, served with steamed rice. Emily’s entry consisted of a Thai Salmon in spicy coconut sauce with turmeric rice.

For the final round, Alfie, Matas and Emily will be asked to prepare their shortlisted recipes using the Panasonic professional combination microwave oven that will now be delivered to their colleges.  With theory now turning to practice, each finalist must film themselves live on video as they cook the dishes in their college kitchens. The judging panel, which includes Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala as well as Murray Chapman, the current winner of the prestigious 2021 Catey Education and Training Award, will then make a decision based on the video content.

“The Zest Quest Asia – Panasonic Autumn Challenge is designed to inspire our next generation of professional chefs to accept the use of high-tech, high-output and power-saving equipment in the production of great quality dishes at speed. The ability to take advantage of available technology adds to the repertoire of skills demanded of chefs today, and the need will only grow in the future. I’m so proud of the fact that so many students like Alfie, Matas and Emily were talented and ambitious enough to accept our challenge and submit their entries. The judges and I are looking forward to seeing what our finalists come up with and to picking the worthy winner.”

Cyrus Todiwala

We’ve been very proud sponsors of this fantastic competition since its inception in 2013 but this time wanted to showcase the versatility of the much underused combination microwave and challenge the students in their understanding of what place technology can have in a modern kitchen.  We asked them to prepare and cook an authentic Asian dish, but they had to demonstrate how they could use a combination microwave to replace some of the traditional stages of cooking.  We’ve been blown away by the response and high standard of entries and thank every college that took part.  Now we can’t wait to see what these three finalists can do and look forward to announcing the winner very soon.” 

Barnaby Sykes, Head of Category Marketing, Panasonic,

The winning student will receive a Panasonic combination microwave for his or her college, as well as a Santoku knife and a £50 Russums voucher (for the lecturer as well). The two runner up students will win a commercial rice cooker for their respective colleges, as well as a Santoku knife and a £25 Russums voucher each for themselves and their lecturer.

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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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