Lifestyle, Stories

Chinoy Spotlight: Chef Regine Lee and Her Culinary Journey

Regine Lauren Lee is a multi-awarded Chinoy chef with successful stints abroad and an established career in the Philippines. 

Lee has always known from an early age that she has a passion and talent for cooking. Her fascination grew from observing her grandmother, aunt, and uncle cook at home and from watching cooking shows on television. She also enjoyed reinventing food when she was in high school so she chose to pursue the culinary arts.

 

A Chef’s Journey

Her professional journey started when she worked as a local intern for the Fish & Co. restaurant. Then, she worked for Dusit Thani Hotel as an OJT intern. She then worked in a hotel’s boutique in Baguio as a commis chef, then worked her way up and became a line cook or supervisor. Lee then decided to go back to Manila to work at Traders Hotel Manila by Shangri-La as a commis chef. 

Later on, she was sent to Shangri-La Academy in Zhuhai, China for a month to receive training in cooking Thai and Malaysian cuisine. During a food festival at the hotel, she was given the opportunity to train the staff to cook the said cuisine and became their official trainer for two consecutive months. Eventually, she was also promoted to chef de partie.

Lee then moved to a group of restaurants headed by the Romulo Group as sous chef and later on, she was also promoted to head chef. She then transferred to Dusit Thani Manila as sous chef for the buffet restaurant and ala carte. Lee and her team rebranded and opened it as The Pantry.

She also worked for Sofitel Manila as sous chef for a fine dining restaurant and the executive lounge, as well as the assistant to the French chef for wine dinner events. After a year, Lee was promoted as senior sous chef for outlets, and together with the executive sous chef, she handled six restaurants. 

Most recently, Lee has been a Chef de Cuisine at a 5-star hotel for more than a year now.

 

Achievements

Lee has also won several awards in the past which shows her tireless dedication and burning passion for cooking. One of her first achievements was winning the Gold with Distinction Award for Dream Team for Dusit Thani in 2016. She became the Overall Champion (Professional Division) for the Philippine Culinary Cup in 2017 and Brand Standard Champion in 2019 for Sofitel Manila.

Lee even joined the “Chefs on Parade Competition,” which is the longest-running Culinary Competition and Event in Asia. She entered under the Market Basket category and won 3rd place.

In addition, Lee did some charity work from March to May 2020. She cooked and provided packed meals that were donated to the local frontliners and the homeless.

Regine Lee’s Dream Team Entry that won Gold.

 

Ragin Cuisine

During the lockdown period, Lee opened an online business called Ragin Cuisine. She took advantage of her free time to be productive and to pursue being both the entrepreneur and chef of her business. Ragine Cuisine offers Asian and Western signature dishes, local coffee in tea bags, and cold brew.

Best-sellers from Lee’s home-based business include BBQ pork ribs and chicken chops. Lee oversees everything and ensures that the food are from reliable sources and the dishes are tested and freshly made before being delivered to their customers.

I want to inspire more women to have the drive to do what they want [to do] and create a name of their own. I am not a celebrity chef but I want my story to inspire women, young chefs, [and] entrepreneurs,” Lee said.

Bbq Sauce and Katsu Curry

 

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