Watch Jeremy Lee, Chef-Patron at London’s Quo Vadis #CookForSyria
Jeremy Lee, chef and patron of Quo Vadis on Dean Street in Soho, has joined restaurateurs, chefs, bakers and café owners across the UK participating in #CookForSyria. Throughout November, #CookForSyria participants are putting a “Syrian-inspired twist” on one of their favorite signature dishes or creating a new dish.
At Quo Vadis, the chef will offer a spinach, pumpkin, cow’s curd and chickpea salad. £2 from each dish sold will be donated to UNICEF UK's Children of Syria Fund.
“When I got asked to do a recipe for #CookForSyria, I could not be more honoured and flattered,” Lee said. “When asked to do something like #CookForSyria, that’s when the food community kicks in to do its very best.”
One of London’s best chefs, Lee was born in a village just outside Dundee, Scotland. Lee’s father and grandfather were artists. Lee originally thought he would attend art school, like his two brothers. Instead, he got a job as a waiter at a nearby restaurant, the Old Mansion House Hotel in Auchterhouse.
He soon discovered he didn’t enjoy waiting on tables and took a job in the kitchen, where a passion was born. He stayed for three years before moving to London.
Once in London, Lee found work under Simon Hopkinson, founding chef at the Bibendum. He then became head chef at the Frith Street Restaurant and Euphorium before joining the Terence Conran-owned Blueprint Café at the Design Museum in 1994. He stayed at the Blueprint for the next 18 years, honing his craft and drawing rave reviews.
Lee’s rising culinary star landed him several television appearances.
In 2007, Lee was a finalist on the BBC Two TV series “Great British Menu.” In 2009, Lee and fellow chef Ferguson Henderson co-hosted “Could You Eat an Elephant?” on Channel 4, in which they traveled the world to test their limitations by eating taboo meats, from maggots to monkey. Lee later returned to “Great British Menu,” appearing as a first-round judge for the Wales contenders in 2013 and again as a first-round judge for the Scotland contenders in 2014.
In 2012, Lee took over as head chef at Quo Vadis in Soho, bringing with him a menu of robust British fare refined by French techniques.
For his outstanding cuisine, Quo Vadis was awarded the Tatler Louis Roederer Restaurant award for Best Kitchen in 2013.
A writer as well as a chef and television personality, Lee was shortlisted for the Newspaper Cookery Writer award at the Glenfiddich Awards in 2002 for his work in the “Guardian Weekend.”
Lee will offer his #CookForSyria dish at Quo Vadis during November.
A nationwide fundraising initiative, #CookForSyria was created by influential Instagrammer Clerkenwell Boy in collaboration with SUITCASE magazine and NEXTGen London, UNICEF UK's young professional movement.
The campaign will raise funds to help children caught in the ongoing conflict in Syria. The lives of more than 8 million children have been turned upside down by the brutal conflict. Many lost family, friends and schools and were forced to flee their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs. These children face a bitter winter in refugee camps or on perilous journeys in search of safety. Without warm winter supplies, they will struggle to survive.
UNICEF is among the few humanitarian organizations working inside Syria, as well as helping Syrian child refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, Egypt and Europe. UNICEF is providing these children with food, clean water and vaccines, education and protection from violence and abuse.
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