About Chef Susur Lee

 

 

 

 

 

From inauspicious beginnings as a 16-year-old apprentice at Hong Kong’s elegant Peninsula Hotel to his Atlas stride atop the fickle world of celebrity chefdom, Lee has never strayed from his consuming passion: to create tantalizing dishes that blend textures and flavours in glorious harmony. Balancing the epicurean traditions of China with the classical techniques of French cuisine, Lee improvises a daring and original culinary aesthetic.

Restaurateur Extraordinaire

Soon after he opened his 12-table restaurant, Lotus, in Toronto in 1987, Susur Lee tongue-tied food critics, from The New York Times to Art Culinaire, with menus of astonishing artistry. Courvoisier’s Book of the Best proclaimed Lotus the finest restaurant in the country; Zagat unabashedly pronounced Lee “a culinary genius.”

Since then, the ever evolving Chef Lee has opened several acclaimed restaurants including his gastro-dome, Susur which immediately earned accolades from such industry heavy-weights as Food & Wine magazine, which heralded Lee as one of the “Ten Chefs of the Millennium,” and Gourmet magazine, which dubbed him “an improvisational artist.” Other hot spots include Toronto’s “Lee,” New York’s Thompson hotel’s “Shang,” and the jewel in his crown, “Chinois by Susur Lee” in one of the world’s leading gourmet destinations-- Singapore. His Zentan restaurant in the Thompson Donovan House hotel in Washington D.C. has been frequented numerous times by America’s First Lady, Michelle Obama.

Culinary Media Sensation

In the spring of 2010, Lee became a media sensation on the Food Network’s popular hit TV show, Top Chef Master. He vanquished 20 competitors and received the highest-ever score in the show’s history before ultimately crossing filleting knives with Marcus Samuelsohn in the nail-biting final. He has also published a spectacular combination cookbook and memoir, Susur Lee: A Culinary Life.

Charitable Champion

In addition to his duties in his home and away-from-home kitchens, Susur Lee contributes regularly to charity and community projects including the James Beard Foundation, juvenile diabetes causes, scholarships for underprivileged students to attend cooking schools and many more causes. The annual Susur Lee-Daniel Nestor Charity Event in Toronto has raised almost $800,000 for Canada’s aspiring Olympic athletes and North York Hospital. On the 20th anniversary of the David Suzuki Foundation, Chef Lee prepared a Locavoracious dinner for 400 people, using sustainable species and ingredients from local dairies and farmers. In 2011, he capped off the year in Cannes, receiving the 5-Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences.

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