Andersen Lee, a 20-year-old chef from Montreal, Canada, has been announced as the second ever recipient of the 50 Best BBVA Scholarship. The scholarship, developed in conjunction with global financial group BBVA, has been created to nurture the legacy of culinary excellence which the annual awards promotes, with entries open to aspiring chefs from across the globe. 1,200 ambitious chefs from 74 different countries applied for the single scholarship.
As part of the scholarship prize, Lee will be given the opportunity to spend six weeks working at Odette in Singapore; followed by six weeks at Core by Clare Smyth in London; finishing with six weeks at Quintonil in Mexico City. He will be presented with the scholarship on stage at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony on 25 June in Singapore, before embarking on an epic five-month scholarship programme.
William Drew, Group Editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, says: “The 50 Best BBVA Scholarship will offer Andersen the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s most skilled and celebrated chefs. 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 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.”
Lee was born and raised in Montreal, Canada with Taiwanese and Hong Kongese heritage. He has honed his skills in efficiency, food research and leadership, amassing a total of two and a half years’ professional cooking experience in his home city, most recently at French-Canadian restaurant Bouillon Bilk. His upcoming stages in Singapore, the UK and Mexico will see him work outside of Canada for the first time.
Óscar Moya, Global Head of Branded Content
and Sponsorship at BBVA, says: “Our purpose
is to bring the age of opportunity to everyone and we are very happy to offer this opportunity to new aspiring
chefs. The winner of the second edition of the scholarship represents the hard work and enthusiasm of all the applications we received. I am sure he will enjoy and take advantage of the experience.”
“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.”
The scholarship was awarded based on a number of judging stages led by 50 Best and BBVA representatives, including written submissions, supporting testimonies, self-produced videos and live interviews. Applicants for the scholarship are required to have less than three years’ experience in a professional kitchen. The first host restaurant, Odette in Singapore, has recently been named The Best Restaurant in Asia in the 2019 edition of the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards.
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 list, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, will be announced in Singapore at a glamorous red-carpet reception and post-awards celebration taking place at the Marina Bay Sands Resort in Singapore on 25 June. The star-studded evening will be preceded by #50BestTalks, a culinary thought-leadership conference exploring food developments, restaurant trends and chefs’ stories.