Compliments of the Chef with Corey Lee

Compliments of the Chef with Corey Lee

This week, Chefs Feed met up with renowned chef Lee at his restaurant in SoMA.

December 6, 2013
CF: I'm best known for my _______ cooking but I can make one hell of a _______. 
CL: refined, tasting menu-style; breakfast 

CF: A few words your sous chef would use to describe you. 
CL: Hard but fair. 

CF: What are you most excited about right now in your restaurant? 
CL: Dried and aged abalone from Iwate in Japan. The texture and flavor of dried versus fresh abalone are totally different. When high-quality dried abalone is prepared properly, it has a dense, silky texture like cured egg yolks, and the flavor becomes intense in glutamates so it's wonderfully rich and savory. The ones available domestically are questionable and I only recently found a reliable supplier in Hong Kong that can supply us. 

CF: Which chef would you drop everything to stage with? 
CL: Chef Jiro Ono. I ate at his restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, in 2006 and it left a great impression on me. It was a lesson in how to distill a restaurant down to what really matters. 

CF: Insider tip from the kitchen for your diners. 
CL: We write custom menus for our regulars. On any given night, we have several different menus being offered simultaneously based on what you've had before. 

CF: Message to professional food critics. 
CL: Anonymity is overrated when critiquing restaurants. Knowing who you are allows us to service you better, whether you're a critic or a regular diner. Opinions about food are highly subjective, and even critics have preferences or dislikes. The more we know about our guests, the better their experience will be. 

CF: One piece of advice for aspiring young chefs. 
CL: Be patient. Invest the time to really learn how to cook and work in a kitchen before trying to manage it. It will pay off in the long run.