Mastara Chef
Launch of The Asian Junior Chefs Challenge

Master Chefs of Great Britain help fight the curry skills battle

(18th February, London) The Master Chefs of Great Britain has thrown its full weight behind the Asian catering sector's quest for a sustainable future.

With strict immigration laws threatening to squeeze further an already diminishing pool of talent, the chef's professional association has responded by launching The Asian Junior Chefs Challenge, the first of its kind in the UK.

The brainchild of Fellow of the Master Chefs of Great Britain Cyrus Todiwala OBE of Cafe Spice Namaste and Mr Todiwala's Kitchen, the competition is designed to encourage catering students in colleges across the UK to consider Asian cuisine as an outlet for their culinary skills. Each team of 3 students will be expected to demonstrate their technical expertise, creativity, knowledge and appreciation of Asian cuisine by preparing a 4-course authentic Pan Asian meal.

So key is 'home-grown' chef talent to the survival of the UK's £2.5 billion Asian food industry that the inaugural Asian Junior Chefs Challenge has managed to attract some big-name sponsorship. Carlson Rezidor, Carisma, Cobra Beer, Hilton London Heathrow T5, Oliver Harvey, Ritu, Schwartz, Tilda , Tibard as well as Cafe Spice Namaste and Mr Todiwala's Kitchen are supplying everything from ingredients to catering supplies to venues, uniforms and prizes for the winners, which include a week in Bombay, Delhi and Poona. The cook-off and awards dinner will take place on 20th October 2013 at the Hilton London Heathrow T5.

The competition is also expected to complement the efforts of college 'centres of excellence' which last year received funding from government to tailor and deliver training in Asian cookery in a bid to resolve the Asian restaurant sector's growing recruitment crisis.

Cyrus Todiwala said, 'I had the idea for this exciting competition for a very long time now so it was great that The Master Chefs of Great Britain eagerly grabbed the chance to make it a reality. My wife Pervin and I know that a chef who is versed in the secrets of Asian cuisine, including its spices, flavours, aromas and ingredients will be worth his or her weight in gold in the future.

Asian cuisine is a great career for any chef. And the British people have always been so good at adapting and innovating and being pragmatic. The world is turning eastward. I predict it's only a matter of time before British chefs preparing truly authentic Asian food using real Asian techniques give their best Asian counterparts a run for their money!'

Clive Roberts, Chairman of The Master Chefs of Great Britain and Chef Patron of the Old Forge Restaurant in West Sussex said, 'The Master Chefs of Great Britain is proud to launch the first of many Asian Junior Chefs Challenges, an enlightened competition hatched and spearheaded by one of our very own Fellows, Cyrus Todiwala.

'The Asian restaurant and food industry is part and parcel of what makes Britain great today. As a professional association for chefs, we can't stand back and not do our bit to ensure that going into the future there are enough chefs to cook one of Britain's favourite cuisines. And as always, we're very keen to work with all colleges and the education and training sector to make sure young people have great fun developing skills in Asian cookery.'

The Asian Junior Chefs Challenge was launched at a reception and dinner hosted by Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala at Cafe Spice Namaste on Monday, 18th February 2013. Attending were key members of the press and stakeholders including representatives of The Master Chefs of Great Britain, the catering 'centres of excellence' including Westminster Kingsway College and University College Birmingham; the Hospitality Guild, People 1st, The Institute of Hospitality and The Springboard Charity.

For press inquiries, contact Elke Dawkins at .

For more information on how to enter The Asian Junior Chefs Challenge, contact Sue McGeever, Secretary, The Master Chefs of Great Britain at . For information on Cyrus Todiwala and Cafe Spice Namaste, contact Gina McAdam at 07879 648930.


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