Canadian Cook Wins 50 Best BBVA Scholarship


LONDON, U.K. — Andersen Lee, a 20-year-old cook from Montreal, has been named the 2019 recipient of the 50 Best BBVA Scholarship. Lee, who was raised in Montreal, is currently garde manger at Bouillon Bilk.

Now in its second year, the scholarship provides a unique opportunity for an aspiring cook to work alongside some of the finest chefs and gain experience in award-winning kitchens around the world.

“The 50 Best BBVA Scholarship will offer Andersen the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s most skilled and celebrated chefs,” says William Drew, group editor, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. “We were blown away by the strength of all of the entries, which is an indication of the incredible talent, passion and drive of so many aspiring chefs across the world. Andersen’s philosophy on food, his fresh thinking and his deep desire to learn stood out. We are very much looking forward to seeing where the future takes him.”

As part of the scholarship, Lee will also receive complimentary tickets and travel to attend The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 awards ceremony in Singapore on June 25. Following the celebrations, the aspiring chef will complete three six-week stages in restaurants within the 50-Best family between June and November 2019, receiving complimentary flights to each of the three restaurant locations around the world and a £1,500 cash prize to support himself during the stages.

Lee will be invited to work at Odette — the Singapore restaurant led by French chef Julien Royer and voted The Best Restaurant in Asia at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019. This will be followed by a stage at Core by Clare Smyth in London, U.K., working with Elit Vodka World’s Best Female Chef, Clare Smyth. Finally, Lee will head to Quintonil in Mexico City (currently ranked number-11 in the world) to learn from chef Jorge Vallejo and his team.

“To have won the 50 Best BBVA Scholarship 2019 has truly left me at a loss for words,” says Lee. “Being a chef is not just about the food, it’s about the respect of the environment, discovering yourself and working with ambitious people. I’m so excited for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Lee was selected from a pool of 1,200 applicants from 74 countries following a three-stage judging process that involved written and video submissions supporting testimonies and interviews. The two runners-up for the scholarship will be given the opportunity to intern at a restaurant in their region.

The 50 Best BBVA Scholarship, which launched in 2018, is open to aspiring chefs over the age of 18 with less than three years of experience in professional kitchens.

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