Lee Syafiq, 26, co-founder of local burger brand BURGS by Project Warung and CLEO’s Most Eligible Bachelor 2019, doesn’t think he’s “hunky or super good-looking”. But it’s exactly his aw-shucks demeanor that makes him all the more endearing. Coupled with his culinary talents and grit that helped get him to where he is today, it’s apparent why this 1.85m-tall chef is an eligible bachelor, in every sense of the term.

Congratulations on winning CLEO Most Eligible Bachelors 2019! How do you feel right now?

Honestly, I’m speechless. I didn’t expect to win at all. I entered this competition for the experience since it sounded fun, and I wanted to try something new and push myself out of my comfort zone. It’s my first time doing something so public. Actually, this competition has a lot of firsts for me—getting my hair done, having someone style me and choose my outfits. I wish I could have that every day!

But man, being named 2019’s Most Eligible Bachelor… I don’t think I’m particularly good-looking! I can only put good food on the table (laughs).

Don’t say that! We think you’re good-looking!

I mean, I used to be very shy, and I used to feel like I wasn’t as good-looking as compared to others. But can I just say it’s also encouraging to know that being super hunky is not a pre-requisite to winning CLEO Most Eligible Bachelors. And to me, making the cut and being a finalist for this is already a great honour.

What were some of the highlights of this competition for you?

Doing promotional posts on Instagram for CLEO and the sponsors of this event. I’ve never done anything of this nature before, so I got a little taste of what it’s like to run my account like an influencer (laughs). You know, I saw the May issue of CLEO (which had the Most Eligible Bachelors’ spread), and Naomi Neo was on the cover, so I actually went to check out her Instagram account to find out how she promotes products, and tried to draw inspiration from there (laughs)!

Does that mean you’ll take over BURGS’ Instagram account from now on?

It has to go through my marketing team first, I’m still learning!

Entrepreneurs are notoriously busy. How do you find the time to date when you have your hands full running your own business?

I try to slot dates in whenever I have free time. Once, I even got my date to come down to work with me, and she ended up helping me with my errands, like carrying boxes and everything. We did some hard labour that day. But hey, if she can endure the hardships with me, she deserves everything I can give her.

What’s the best date you’ve ever had?

I was once surprised with a date to Universal Studios Singapore on my birthday. So we spent the entire day going on roller coasters, then we went out to Sentosa for bungee jumping after. It was a very action-packed day! I’m an adrenaline junkie, so that day was amazing.

What are some green flags that you watch out for on a date?

If it’s a first date, a huge green flag to me would be if she offers to pay. I would decline her offer, but it’ll definitely be a plus point. Also, it’ll be amazing if she’s a foodie as well—then I’d want to know all about her preferences, so I can cook what she likes.

Aw, that’s so nice and thoughtful.

I love cooking for the people I love. It’s my way of showing care. Once, I surprised someone at her workplace with cake, flowers and coffee, because I knew she was feeling down. It was a chocolate lava cake that I baked, and I bought coffee because I knew she’s had a long day and I wanted to give her something to perk her up.

So, if the people reading this want to catch a glimpse of CLEO’s Most Eligible Bachelor 2019, where can they go?

The BURGS by Project Warung stall in Golden Mile Food Centre, of course. I might actually be the one cooking your burgers, because I like to be hands-on to keep my skills sharp. Or you can just follow me on Instagram and stalk my Stories.

And what if they want to, say, ask you out on a date?

My name card is out at the front, with my number on it (laughs). I’m always up to meet new people, so don’t be shy to say hi!

CLEO Most Eligible Bachelors 2019 is proudly sponsored by SloggiSwatch and ZALORA, and supported by HP and Strongbow.