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(29th February, London) An ambitious Filipino-inspired menu has catapulted Phoebe Tuttle, Beth Brewster and Joe Defries of The Sheffield College into their new roles as 2024 Zest Quest Asia champions, a victory that comes with a weeklong trip of a lifetime to New Delhi, India. 

The unveiling of the winners and first prize was the climax of the Zest Quest Asia gala dinner held for the first time at the Hilton London Wembley last Tuesday, 27th February. Attending the annual event were 230 guests from industry and education along with the families of this year’s finalist teams from Cheshire College South & West, Loughborough College, North Hertfordshire College, The Sheffield College, University College Birmingham and New College Durham.

The evening kicked off with a Thai canape reception prepared by outgoing Zest Quest Asia champions University of West London (UWL), complemented by Don Papa Rum and Edinburgh Gin cocktails. This was followed by a 3-course supper prepared by Zest Quest Asia co-founder Cyrus Todiwala OBE DL and friends, featuring a taste of the Sichuan, Hakka, Hunan and Hainan influenced cooking of India.

Earlier in the day, UWL had hosted the competition’s live cook off phase in the training kitchens of the London Geller College of Hospitality and Tourism. It was then that The Sheffield College trio, supported by their tutor Andy Gabbitas, truly impressed the judges with their execution of a menu.

Comprising an amuse bouche of Portobello Mushroom Sisig in a Croustade basket; a Tapsilog starter (a Filipino ensemble traditionally made of fried egg, beef tapa and garlic fried rice); a main course of Chicken Adobo with caramelised soy green beans, banana ketchup and annatto peanuts; and a dessert of Turon with ube ice cream and Don Papa caramel sauce. 

Apart from taking home the first prize, Phoebe, Beth and Joe were cited for the Best Use of the Panasonic Accelerated Combination Oven, winning the oven for The Sheffield College. As part of their prize, they were also awarded a bespoke all-day class and Dashi journey in Japanese Kaiseki. Overall runner-up, University College Birmingham, won an educational trip to France courtesy of the Grande Cuisine Academy. The team also won the awards for Least Wastage and the Best Use of a Halide Processor.

Other awardees on the night were:

•​New College Durham – Best Menu Planning and the Andrew Bennett Teamwork Award

•​Loughborough College – Best Use of Tormek Knife Sharpener

•​North Hertfordshire College – Best Menu Presentation

•​Cheshire College South & West – Most Sustainable Menu

•​North Hertfordshire College – Best Use of Tilda Rice


All 18 Zest Quest Asia student finalists also received a year’s student membership of the Institute of Hospitality (IoH), the industry’s global professional body. 

Special guest speaker Alistair King DL, the incoming (subject to election) Lord Mayor of London expressed his support for Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala and the competition the couple set up in 2013 with the support of the Master Chefs of Great Britain.

Cyrus Todiwala OBE DL FIH, who co-founded Zest Quest Asia with Pervin Todiwala, said, “Congratulations to The Sheffield College, for drawing inspiration from the Philippines, a country that your fellow Sheffield College students visited only two years ago. This is what our competition is all about – students who have experienced and learned first-hand the cuisine of different Asian cultures by getting involved in Zest Quest Asia then pay their knowledge and experience forward. This way slowly but surely more and more budding chefs can be inspired to appreciate and cook Asian food. 

“I want to thank all our sponsors and supporters, especially our headline sponsor, Tilda, who will see to it that our new champions have an unforgettable time in New Delhi. I think Tilda’s commitment to Zest Quest Asia is nothing short of a passion. I tell the students that competing is only the beginning because from the moment they became finalists, we and our sponsors will see to it that doors open to them. Now our winning team from The Sheffield College is going to discover the tastes and flavours of one of the world’s oldest civilisations.”

For more information on Zest Quest Asia 2024 visit

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