Chef Jinhee Lee Takes First Place at National Culinary Competition

quoteCalgary chef Jinhee Lee was crowned the culinary queen Saturday after claiming gold at this year’s Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna.

The executive chef at Calgary’s newest pan-Asian restaurant, Foreign Concept, Lee took along restaurant owner Duncan Ly as her sous chef for the competition. Not only was Lee the first Calgary chef to win the culinary battle since 2006, she is also the second woman ever to take first place.

– Anna Brooks, Calgary Herald
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Great Spaces: Past Meets Present at Foreign Concept

quoteAly Velji designed restaurant Foreign Concept with a nod to the past. 

Foreign Concept may have just opened this past December, but the restaurant feels steeped in history. Fitting, given that the menu by chef and owner Duncan Ly takes its cues from a specific time and place: colonial Vietnam.
– Gabrielle Lakusta, Western Living Magazine

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Foreign Concept Featured in Western Living as “Design Crush”

quoteWhen celebrated chef Duncan Ly decided to open a restaurant in Calgary, he went straight to YYC local (and 2016 Designers of the Year finalist) Alykhan Velji, principal and senior designer of Alykhan Velji Designs.

Ly wanted his restaurant, Foreign Concept, to look like it had been there forever: he wanted “to create a dining experience that was casual and comfortable, but refined,” say Velji, who brought the vision to life by combining modern colonial influences with Asian accents.

Gabriella Lakusta for Western Living Magazine
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Best New Restaurants of 2016 – #1 Foreign Concept

quoteDuncan and Wanda Ly are realizing their dream
in their exquisite new Alternate Asian restaurant. With executive chef Jinhee Lee and sous chef Michel Nop in the kitchen, Foreign Concept opened just two weeks ago with an incredibly high level of skill. The food is impeccable, the surroundings a melding of classic Asian and modern Calgary and the service is pleasant and professional.”

– John Gilchrist, Calgary Herald
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Compelling Calgarians – Chef Jinhee Lee Named One of 20 to Watch in 2017

quoteAs a child, Jinhee Lee was the official taste tester for her
mom’s homemade kimchi. Little did she realize, food was her destiny.

In fact, Seoul-born Lee already had two careers behind her — as a chemist in Korea’s cosmetic industry and as an English teacher — before “goose bumps” popped up on her arm while visiting a SAIT cooking class.”

– Barb Livingstone for the Calgary Herald

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