Susur Lee

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Susur Lee
Born 1958 (age 58–59)
Hong Kong
Spouse(s) Brenda Bent (m. 1991)[1]
(3 children)
Culinary career
Cooking style Fusion cuisine

Susur Lee (born 1958) is a Hong Kong-American celebrity chef based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was born in Hong Kong, the youngest of six children. He served his culinary apprenticeship at Hong Kong's renowned Peninsula Hotel. He immigrated to Canada in 1978, where he worked his way to executive chef status at a number of restaurants. Lee currently owns two restaurants in Toronto, "Lee" located at 601 King St. West and "Bent" located at 777 Dundas St. West where he teamed up with two of his sons Levi and Kai Bent-Lee. In 2008 he opened "Shang", located in the Thompson Hotel in the Lower East Side of New York City (now closed). In 2009 he opened "Zentan", located at the Donovan House in the Logan Circle area of Washington DC, but he parted ways with the restaurant in 2013.[2] His eclectic style is described as fusion cuisine.

The internationally acclaimed restaurant "Susur", opened its doors in 2000, and was designed with aid from his wife, Brenda Bent (Lee's first wife Marilou Covey died in the Korean Air Flight 007 disaster in 1983).[3] Recognized by Gourmet, Restaurant (UK) and Food & Wine, among others, "Susur" has been on various international Top 50 lists, including Restaurant's World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards. Instead of offering a traditional menu, a tasting menu is built each day from whatever inspires Lee at the marketplace that morning.

He was the second Canadian chef to appear on the Food Network's Iron Chef America (the first was Rob Feenie) in a battle with Iron Chef Bobby Flay, resulting in a tie. The episode first aired on May 3, 2006. The theme ingredient was bacon. Lee has also been a guest chef on Ming Tsai's show, East Meets West, on the Food Network.[4]

Lee was a finalist in the second season of the Bravo TV show Top Chef: Masters, finishing in a tie for second behind winner Marcus Samuelsson. In the first round, he earned the highest score in Top Chef Masters history (19.5 out of 20 stars) for his dish made of roast chicken & farce curry, polenta & grits, tomato jam & chili mint chutney. The dish was served to the judges and the cast and crew of Modern Family. He is well known for his dish Singapore Slaw, his take on a Lo Hei salad, which is traditionally eaten during the Chinese New Year.[5] Lee currently take the role of the judge on Masterchef Asia.


Lee is now based in Toronto, and makes regular visits to his international restaurants. Madeline's has closed, but now serves as the lounge area for Lee [6]


Restaurants with which Lee has been affiliated include:

  • Frings, Toronto (W/ Drake) 2015-present
  • Lee, Toronto (owner & chef) 2004 – present
  • Lee Kitchen, Toronto Pearson International Airport Terminal 1-International 2015-present
  • Luckee, Toronto (owner & chef), 2014–present
  • Bent, Toronto (owner & chef) 2012–present
  • Chinois at Hotel Michael, Singapore, Singapore (owner & chef) 2010–present
  • Zentan at the Donovan House, Washington DC (owner & chef) 2009–2013
  • Shang, New York (owner & chef) 2008–2011
  • Madeline's, Toronto (owner & chef) 2008–2010
  • Susur, Toronto (owner & chef) 2000-2008
  • Tung Lok Group, Singapore
  • Prague Fine Food Emporium, Toronto, 1998
  • Chinois by Susur Lee, Singapore
  • Ritz-Carlton, Singapore (Consulting Chef) 1997
  • Kojis Kaizen, Montreal
  • Hemispheres, Toronto (Consulting Chef)
  • Oceans, 1990
  • Lotus, Toronto (owner & chef) 1987-1997
  • La Bastille, Toronto (guest chef) 1987
  • Lela, Toronto (chef or executive chef)
  • Peter Pan, Toronto (chef or executive chef)
  • Le Trou Normand, Toronto
  • Le Connaisseur, Toronto
  • The Westbury Hotel, Toronto (cook)
  • Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong (apprentice/commis)


TV appearances[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The One: Susur Lee and Brenda Bent". National Post. 2012-02-30. Retrieved 2014-12-28.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ "Zentan taps new chef: Jennifer Nguyen". Washington Post. 2013-03-18. Retrieved 2013-04-08. 
  3. ^ "Iron Man Susur Lee". 2006-02-03. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  4. ^ Archived August 10, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "How to Make Zentan's Singapore Slaw". Washingtonian. 2012-09-28. Retrieved 2013-04-08. 
  6. ^ Renée Suen (2011-02-22). "Introducing: Lee Lounge, the latest incarnation of Susur Lee's King West space". Toronto Life. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 

External links[edit]