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Dish of the Day winners from HCC at Zest Quest Asia contest

Posted 22nd February 2017

Three trainee chefs from Hackney Community College pitched their culinary expertise against the best in the country at the high stakes Zest Quest 2017 contest – and achieved best dish of the day!

The exquisite winning dish: Seared wild salmon & organic squash laksa, rice noodles, quail egg, salt & pepper squid & steamed prawn buns impressed a panel of high profile industry judges.

Level 3 professional cookery student Danny Francomb was joined by young level 2 students Pablo Sebastian German and Dee Aung Htoi at the competition, using the kitchens at Hilton Terminal 5 Heathrow. They were coached and accompanied by the college’s chef lecturer Jeff Mason.

The chefs developed their own dishes at Hackney Community College, and submitted the recipes to judges last November as part of the selection criteria for the national competition. They then re-created the three course meal in the final held in February 2017.

Zest Quest Asia recognises the growing popularity of gourmet Asian food. There are over 10,000 restaurants offering Asian cuisine in the UK, and the Asian food sector is worth £3 billion. Chefs with high level skills and experience in Asian cuisine are sought after across the industry.

The Hackney team was up against the best chefs from University of West London, Sheffield College, University College Birmingham and Colchester Institute at the final.

The Dish of the Day award, won by Hackney Community College, was sponsored by Glengoyne. Overall winners of the 2017 contest were the team from University College Birmingham.

You can sample the food of Danny, Pablo and Dee – and the other trainee chefs from Hackney Community College, at their own Hoxton Street restaurant, Open Kitchen