Chef Susur Lee

Lauded as one of the “Ten Chefs of the Millennium” by Food & Wine magazine, Susur Lee is resolved to stay at the top of his game. The multi-award-winning chef and pioneer of Asian fusion seems to be constantly in motion, helming two restaurants in Toronto (Lee, Lee Kitchen), monitoring his prestigious TungLok Heen property, making television appearances and traveling the world as guest chef and consultant.

Currently, the fêted international chef with the impish grin and glossy Ninja bun is commandeering the kitchen arena on Iron Chef Canada, where he competes head-to-head with notable rival chefs from across the country. Lee is a familiar presence on the Food Network: after stints on Iron Chef America, he became a media sensation on Top Chef Masters, where he vanquished 20 upstart rivals and received the highest judging marks in the show’s history. Viewers can bet that the masterful Kitchen Ninja is already sharpening his reflexes and legendary knife skills, readying for battle on the small screen. There will be skirmishes, and possibly truffles!

One could say that Susur Lee was born with a spoon in his mouth— but it would be a tasting spoon, not a silver one. From humble beginnings as a 16-year-old apprentice at a prestigious Hong Kong hotel to his Atlas stride atop the fickle universe of celebrity chefdom, the gifted and ambitious Lee has never deviated from a 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, Susur Lee improvises a daring and original culinary aesthetic.

Emigrating from Hong Kong in 1978 to Toronto, where the foodie movement was still in its infancy, Susur Lee reimagined the gastronomic landscape of the city, and set out to define it. His first restaurant, Lotus, which he launched in 1987, quickly became a destination for international food critics, gourmets, and food lovers everywhere. Creating irresistible dishes that mirrored the diversity of the city itself, Susur Lee pioneered a culinary revolution. After a celebrated 10-year run and consistently glowing reviews, the Chef departed for Singapore with his young family, where he would consult for the TungLok Group and re-charge.

Returning to Toronto in 2000, Chef Lee opened the eponymous Susur, a restaurant that celebrated fine dining, a now-legendary reverse-tasting menu, and the dawn of Toronto’s culinary blossoming. Recognized worldwide as the “it” destination for foodies seeking the next frontier, Susur was named one of the world’s 50 best restaurants by Restaurant Magazine. In 2004, the Chef, in perpetual evolution, opened Lee—a stylish, high-energy sister property to Susur. More than fifteen years later, Lee continues to be packed nightly.

The sky appears to be the limit—literally– for Susur Lee’s global brand. In spring 2015, Lee and HMSHost opened a bistro-style eatery, “Lee Kitchen,” at Toronto’s international Pearson Airport, where travelers can either dine on the premises or select take-out before boarding their flights. Airplane food has never been the same, and globe-trotting gastronomes rejoiced.

In 2017, Lee and his two elder sons, Levi and Kai Bent-Lee, shifted gears into the faster-food lane, opening an upscale grab-and-go counter in one of Toronto’s busiest food courts. Kid Lee offers healthy-lunch standards with a mouth-watering twist– cheeseburger spring rolls and Singapore slaw!—that have power professionals lining up at 11am. Leave it to Susur Lee to serve up a fresh take on take out.

Iron Chef Canada

Susur Lee is drawn to a challenge like a bear to a honeycomb. So it’s just as well that the fêted international chef with the impish grin and glossy Ninja bun is striding into the kitchen arena of Iron Chef Canada, readying for battle on Food Network Canada. The multi-award-winning chef and pioneer of Asian fusion will compete head-to-head with notable opponents from across the country, creating dishes to be judged by a panel of culinary experts and industry professionals. Viewers can bet that the masterful Kitchen Ninja is already sharpening his reflexes and legendary knife skills. There will be skirmishes, and garlic!