Chef Chris Lee

Chef Chris Lee talks with Food and Beverage Today

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Chef Chris Lee's work ethic drives his career to new heights
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After graduating in 2000 Chef Lee worked at Jean Georges and Daniel in New York, which he credits with being his most valuable training experiences. He then moved on to be the chef de cuisine under Neil Gallagher at Oceana.

It was after Oceana when Chris’s rising star really began to gain momentum. He took a position at Striped Bass in Philadelphia and soon became executive chef. His work at the prominent Rittenhouse Square restaurant did not go unnoticed. In 2005 he was named “Rising Star Chef of the Year” at the James Beard Awards and was also cited as one of Food and Wine’s “Best New Chefs” in 2006.

Building on his Striped Bass successes, Chris was ready for even deeper water and when he was offered a position at Gilt in Manhattan, he returned to his New York roots.

Gilt was where it all came together: Christopher Lee’s talent, education, experience, and legendary work ethic enabled him to thrive in his new environment. Taking the helm at Gilt allowed Chef Lee to really put his food on stage. When asked about where he pulled the inspiration for his creations Chris says,

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“Everyday life is my inspiration.  I find myself always thinking and creating no matter where I am.  Ideas tend to pop up at the craziness times, but thanks to the new iphone voice recorder I can document any crazy thought. 

“Seasons also have a lot to do with creating and driving my inspiration and my overall health weights in as well.  I mean when I am tired and out of shape, I tend to create more a healthier side and vice versa when I am feeling good and in shape, I tend to create food for my urges.“

The culinary results of his inspiration garnered rave reviews. At Gilt, Chris’s clean style focused on the purity of each ingredient and his dishes were always created with the guest in mind. It was this philosophy and the superb food that the Michelin deciders noticed, as they gave Gilt two Michelin stars.

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