Canadian Celebrity Chef
Mediaplanet caught up with celebrity Chef Susur Lee about his life in Ontario, passion for food and what he wants Ontarians to experience through his cuisine.
What was it like growing up in Hong Kong and what made you decide to move to Canada?
Growing up in Hong Kong began my passion for food- the foundation of who I am. I grew up next to the ocean and farm land and these different landscapes opened my eyes to many different ingredients and food elements. The reason for moving to Canada was for love, I fell in love with a woman from Ontario.
What do you love most about living in Ontario?
Ontario has such dense business center and lots of multiculturalism. I love how this province attracts lots of tourism and professionals. This makes me very proud.
What was it like immigrating to Canada? Were there any challenges and how did you overcome them?
Immigrating to Canada was difficult at first, I dove into my work and worked long hours and long days. And of course, getting used to winter was an adjustment. What really helped was meeting lots of different people and learning about their culture. This allowed me to create a community and eventually made Canada feel more like home.
What fueled your passion for food?
My passion for food comes from my innate curiosity for food culture and traditions. I love taking old food traditions and finding ways to incorporate them with modern cooking styles. The aim is to keep the stories of these traditions alive, but also make them more relatable.
What do you want people to be left with after experiencing your food?
The goal with my food is always to present it in a way to make you think you are in Europe, but when you take a bite you get transported to Asia. Experiencing both of these cultures at the same time is what my cooking aims to represent.
What are the top culinary experiences that Ontarians should be trying this summer?
This summer my latest venture of relocating LEE restaurant will be in full swing! I am looking forward to continuing to cook and host guests at this brand-new location in the Waterworks building located in downtown Toronto. My two signature dishes will be moving to the new location: the 23 ingredient, vegan friendly, Singaporean Style Slaw and the French and Chinese Tong Yuen for dessert. I am always excited for people to try them.