May 2023

Dan’s Story

By Dan Lee

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Dan Lee

Professional Cookery Level 2

MasterChef champ and street food star

Within 11 years of leaving Birmingham College of Food, Dan Lee was lifting TV’s coveted MasterChef: The Professionals trophy.

And he credits the College with giving him the fundamental skills that took him from cooking at his auntie’s Chinese takeaway in Birmingham to some of the top fine dining restaurants around the world.

“The tutors and lecturers here are incredible and the knowledge they have between them is insane. Absorb this place like a sponge,” is his advice to students.

It was the coronavirus pandemic that proved a turning point for Dan. Working in a supermarket as a stop-gap measure gave him the time to apply for MasterChef, where his dishes were acclaimed by judge Marcus Wareing who called him a "star in the making".

Winning the title has led to global exposure and opened doors Dan could only have dreamed of.

But his passion is street food, and he is close to achieving his ultimate ambition to build an authentic street food offering in the UK based on the Singapore tradition.

“I want to create a street food culture for everyone that’s really diverse, inspired by what I have seen on my travels. That’s my aim,” he said.


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