Photo: Ida Wang – idawang.dk
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Anh Lê is the founder and co-owner of the fashionable Restaurant LêLê in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is known throughout Denmark as a businesswoman and as an ambassador for Vietnamese food. There is not a newspaper or women’s magazine that has not made a portrait of the hard-working woman. In 2012, Anh Lê was nominated as one of the 100 coolest and strongest women in Denmark and right now her latest cookbook is the book of the month in one of the largest Danish women’s magazines.
When the Vietnamese president and his wife in 2013 was on an official visit to Denmark it was LêLê who did the cooking – partly to the President’s official dinner with the Danish Royal Family, partly to the dinner for the President and Danish top officials in the Danish industry.
Anh Lê has hosted a series of TV shows about Vietnamese food and is a regular on Danish TV shows, whenever the topic is Vietnam and Vietnamese food. Her goal is to introduce Vietnam to Denmark through food and culture. In 2012 her food-and-travel show ”Spis Vietnam” (Eat Vietnam) was broadcasted not only by the Danish National TV, but also in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland. Furthermore, a documentary was made about Anh and her family, following them for two years and the transition from a single small restaurant to one of the biggest and most popular restaurant empire in Copenhagen.
The guests of Restaurant LêLê include both hip young locals, celebrities, royalty, business people and fashion people. And Anh Lê herself is a highly sought-after guest for fashion shows and on the red carpet.
Anh Lê and her family opened the doors to their first restaurant in 2003 and at the same time opened the Danes’ eyes to the glory of Vietnamese food.
As the Danes’ love for the Vietnamese cuisine grew, so did the Lê empire; besides the original restaurant, which is the biggest Vietnamese restaurant in Scandinavia, three new LêLê restaurants popped up in Copenhagen. In June 2014 the restaurant and take-away chain “LêLê Street Kitchen” was awarded ”Copenhagen’s Best Take Away 2014” – for the second year running.
Anh Lê was born in Vietnam and came to Denmark in the late ‘70s at the age of five. At an early age she helped out her mother in the kitchen of her parents snack bar. She was instantly fascinated by cooking, but dreamt of a more sophisticated cuisine. Her many travels throughout the world and her years of living in France laid the foundation and inspiration for Restaurant LêLê, which serves modern interpretations of Vietnamese dishes.
In 2008 she published her first cookbook “LêLês Gadekøkken” (LêLê’s Street Kitchen) which featured some of the bestsellers from the restaurant. In 2014 her second book “LêLês Grønne Køkken” (LêLê’s Green Kitchen) came out. The book contains recipes for simple, fresh Vietnamese comfort food made with Nordic produce and ingredients.
Anh Lê is an ambassador of the charity organization SOS Children Villages. She supports the children of Ca Mau, Vietnam, with the profits from the cookbooks and is throwing fundraising parties at the restaurant to raise money and awareness of the SOS Children Villages in Ca Mau, Cambodia and Laos.