Chef Lee Joins Charlie Palmer at Aureole

Chef Lee talks about Charlie Palmer with Food and Beverage Today

jacksonville restaurants and reviews and chef chris lee in food and beverage today

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Chef Lee on Aureole and Charlie Palmer
Chef Lee on Charlie Palmer and "Top Chef Masters"
Chef Chris Lee, Chris Lee, Chef Lee Plating

FB: Is working with Charlie Palmer as exciting as it sounds?

“Working with Charlie is great.  He has a great palette and tremendous amount of knowledge about everything.  I find him more of a mentor that challenges my mind.  I also respect him tremendously for giving me complete trust in running and developing his Flagship restaurant.”

FB: Is there one ingredient or flavor you are most drawn to now?

When we started talking about his food today he told us, ‘I am trying to get simpler in my food, but sometimes I can’t help myself.  I also have gotten bolder in my flavors. I really do not have a favorite flavor combination, I enjoy all flavors and for me combinations change with every dish.  But, I realize that I am using a lot more fresh herbs this summer.”

Us: What food trends do you see emerging?

Chef Chris Lee, Chris Lee, Chef Lee Plating

Chris: “I think people are looking for more of a relaxed and approachable experience while still always looking for great food.  Consistency is key and using fresh ingredients is important. The long drawn out dining experience is coming to an end; people do not want to sit for 4 to 5 hours anymore for dinner.  Spanish flavors are becoming more popular.”

Chris has also been doing some work outside the restaurant. His recent appearance on “Top Chef Masters” was a nice change of pace for him. “ I enjoyed doing Top Chef Masters for mostly the charity reason.  I do not always get the opportunity to help raise money for a good reason.  Also, I like seeing some old friends and creating new friendships with some of the other contenders.  And maybe there was a little part of me that really wanted to see how hard these challenges really are.”

Looking at Chef Lee’s past you can certainly see why Charlie Palmer tapped him for the position at Aureole and you can’t help wondering what is next for this shooting culinary star.

One thing top chefs, top restaurateurs and titans in every industry have in common is the capacity for extraordinary focus. Always keeping his eye firmly on the prize, it’s no surprise that Chris is focused on growing into his own empire. When asked about his future plans Chef said simply, “hopefully running and creating a restaurant company just like Charlie.”

At 34, with both time and talent on his side, Christopher Lee has proven he has what it takes to achieve even his wildest dreams.

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