Now in its second year, the 50 Best BBVA Scholarship is a scheme that provides a unique opportunity for an aspiring cook to work alongside some of the finest chefs and gain experience in award-winning kitchens with three stages in restaurants across the world.
Andersen Lee, a 20-year-old cook from Montreal, Canada, is the recipient of the 50 Best BBVA Scholarship 2019. 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 a stage at Core by Clare Smyth in London, UK, working with the elit™ Vodka World’s Best Female Chef, Clare Smyth herself. Finally, the winner will head to Quintonil in Mexico City to learn from chef Jorge Vallejo and his team at the restaurant currently ranked No.11 in the world.
As part of the scholarship, Lee will receive complimentary tickets and flights from his home in Canada to attend The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 awards ceremony in Singapore. 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 was selected following a three-stage judging process that involved written and video submissions and interviews, and to which host chefs Julien Royer, Clare Smyth and Jorge Vallejo, as well as BBVA representatives, had an input. The two runners-up for the scholarship will be given the opportunity to intern at a restaurant in their region.
Since 2018, over 1,200 ambitious cooks from 74 countries have applied for the scholarship. Below is an infographic relative to the 50 Best BBVA Scholarship.