Three catering students from Milton Keynes College saw

off competition from five other colleges to be crowned Zest Quest Asia champions at a gala dinner and awards ceremony held on Monday, 15th February at the Hilton London Heathrow Terminal 5.

Jessica Hopcraft, Jake Stokes and Crystall Fleming impressed the judges during the cook-off with their

4-course Vietnamese-inspired menu. 


Their first course was a Vietnamese Trio, comprising an ‘allotment-grown’ beetroot pho, vermicelli and Asian greens roll, with a soy and tamarind dressing and a chilli cashew crumble, coconut and tofu banh khot.   


The second course was a dish called Ca Kho Bream; sea bream braised in soy in a traditional clay pot, served with roasted squash, allotment-grown pak choi, stir fried in ginger, chilli and soy, and mussel rice. 


Third course, Sticky Pork, featured pork bred in

Oxfordshire in a hoisin  sauce made with Milton Keynes honey, served with a sesame and peanut fried kai choi

and pomello bitter sweet salad.


Dessert was a banana banh flan also with Milton Keynes honey and toasted sesame tempura bananas, matched

with a banana, coconut and honey bubble tea.

The winning team and their tutor, Tony Oxley, were awarded a trip of a lifetime to Bangkok in Thailand,

where they were hosted by the DoubleTree by

Hilton Hotel Sukhumvit Bangkok.


Six colleges from across the UK were in the final with Milton Keynes College: Doncaster College and University Centre, Farnborough College of Technology, Westminster Kingsway College, University College Birmingham,

and University of West London.

“Winning has put Milton Keynes College well on the map as an excellent training provider. The college is so proud of the hard work and effort the students put into the competition. We would like to thank all the sponsors and Chef Cyrus for putting together a fantastic competition and would recommend all colleges to enter in the future.”

 Tony Oxley Programme Manager, Hospitality & Catering

Milton Keynes College