Help James Get to Noma!

Hello all!

Most people that know me know that I love to cook. I started when I was little helping my dad in the kitchen whenever I could, and I finally got my first restaurant job when I was 15 in a coffee shop (not really a restaurant, but I made the sandwiches!) and moved on to a country club in Gainesville where I actually became a cook. I learned that I loved cooking so much I moved to Philly and attended The Restaurant School when I was 17, and the rest is history.

I am 27 now and I have cooked in many different restaurants and in a variety of cuisines; everything from mussels at Monk's Cafe to pasta at Amis. I got my butt kicked by Pierre at Bibou, buried myself in canapes at Le Bec Fin 2.0, and learned The Art of Zen from David Ansill. 

After all of these fun (for the most part...) adventures, I moved back home to D.C. to work with my mentor Rob Rubba at his new restaurant, Hazel. We've been going hard making sure the restaurant was a success for over a year now, and it's made a huge impact on me as a professional chef. I've learned first hand how hard it is to make a new restaurant successful, and we've poured our blood, sweat, and tears into each and every menu item. Not literally, that'd be gross.

The next stop in this adventure is an internship at the two-Michelin star Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark. It is one of the best restaurants in the world, and I was chosen out of thousands of applicants, but there is only one thing stopping me. I was always told to dream big, to always keep pushing, to always keep creating new goals and challenges for myself. What the world doesn't tell you is that dreams aren't cheap! So this is me asking (begging!) anyone who feels compelled to invest in me as a person and my career so I can travel to Noma and learn from the best chefs in the world.

I promise I will make it up to all who donate one day when I open up my own restaurant, but in the meantime I will award whoever donates the greatest amount their own private dinner for 4 at a convenient time for both of us!

Thank you for believing in me enough to read this post, and thank you to those who decide to take a chance on a 27-year-old chef with big dreams.

James Lee


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James Lee 
Washington D.C., DC
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