Chef Susur Lee

The multi-award-winning chef and pioneer of Southeast Asian and French fusion seems to be constantly in motion, helming two restaurants in Toronto (Lee and Lee Kitchen), monitoring the prestigious TungLok Heen property, making television appearances, and traveling the world as a guest chef.

However, it all began from humble beginnings. Born in Hong Kong, Chef Susur Lee began his culinary journey as a 16-year-old apprentice at a prestigious hotel in Hong Kong. From there, he developed his skills in classical French cooking. He would later go on to balance his French techniques with the epicurean traditions of Asian influences from his upbringing to master his craft.

Throughout his career, Chef Lee has gained many titles, such as:

  • Ambassador for Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award by Canada’s 100 Best
  • “Ten Chefs of the Millennium” – Food & Wine magazine
  • “Top Ten Chefs in the World” – Food & Wine magazine
  • Chief consultant of TungLok group in Singapore
  • Susur Restaurant in the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” by Restaurant Magazine
  • The first Red Chef’s Hat Award outside of Qingdao, China
  • Five Diamond Award – American Academy of Hospitality Science
  • International Chef of the Year – International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP)
  • Restaurateur of the Year – Ontario Hostelry Institute
  • Five Diamond Award – CAA/AAA for Susur Restaurant
  • James Beard Foundation Awards
  • “Best New Restaurant” at Shang Restaurant in NYC – The New York Times
  • “Chef of the Year” – Toronto Sun Readers’ Choice Awards
  • Gold Medal Plates
  • Cookbook Author of “Susur: A Culinary Life”
  • Chef of the Year – Cuisine Canada
  • Honorary Degree Recipient – Doctor of Laws, York University

The chef has made notable appearances on various culinary television shows, including:

  • Iron Chef Canada
  • Top Chef Masters America
  • Top Chef Canada
  • Master Chef Asia

In addition to these impressive competitions, the chef has also served as a judge on Chopped Canada and Wall of Chefs.

After emigrating from Hong Kong in 1978 to Toronto, Chef Lee would go on to own many restaurants throughout his ongoing career. His first restaurant, Lotus, which he launched in 1987, quickly became a destination for international food critics, gourmets, and food lovers. Creating irresistible dishes that mirrored the diversity of the city of Toronto itself. After a celebrated 10-year run and consistently glowing reviews, the chef departed for Singapore with his young family, where he would become the chief culinary consultant for TungLok group.

Returning to Toronto in 2000, Chef Lee opened Susur, a restaurant that celebrated fine dining and a now-legendary reverse-tasting menu. Recognized worldwide as the “it” destination for foodies seeking the next frontier. In 2004, the chef, in perpetual evolution, opened Lee – a stylish, high-energy sister property to Susur. Over two decades later, Lee continues to be packed daily, where he continues to serve his world-renowned signature dish, the 24-ingredient Singapore Slaw.