Chinese-Canadian Chef Susur Lee knows a thing or two about pleasing discerning palates; after all he has been doing so with great success for more than 20 years, since the debut of his first restaurant Lotus in Toronto in 1987.
The Hong Kong native is often compared with New York-based chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Drew Nieporent of Nobu refers to him as the pioneer of fusion. The toast of the international culinary scene with Lotus’ ten year run, he spent three years in Singapore as a food consultant to the Tung Lok Group.
Refreshed and ready to share the recipes he gathered in Singapore, he returned to Toronto and opened Susur in 2000. His innovative reverse tasting menu created a food revolution, and New York foodies trekked to Toronto making Susur a destination in fine dining. In 2004, he opened the trendier and casual Lee next door.
Television audiences may be familiar with this tall ponytailed Chef, whose battle with Iron Chef Bobby Flay on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America in 2006 resulted in a tie.
Tapped by Jason Pomeranc of the Thompson LES Hotel to make his move to New York as the head chef and partner of Shang, his new boite opened in December 2008 and is located on the second level of the Thompson LES Hotel.
Chef Lee’s culinary creations meld French and European techniques together with Chinese, Japanese and Korean ingredients, resulting in dishes that are truly divine.
Shang is my new favorite restaurant, and tonight I am here with six friends, enough company to snag a booth in the center of the room. The black lacquer Lazy Susan inlaid on our table is the perfect way to share all of the delectable dishes that we ordered.
Thompson LES Hotel
187 Orchard St. (btwn. Houston and Stanton Sts.) or enter through the hotel lobby on
190 Allen St.
Friday and Saturday 6pm-midnight
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Originally published on February 4, 2009
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As a photographer and videographer, Lia collaborates with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive and social media presence. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden.
This year, selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space will become part of newly created LIA CHANG THEATER PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO in the ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTS COLLECTION housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection.
Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre, Broadwayworld.com, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle, Timeout.com, Villagevoice.com, Playbill.com, Theatermania.com, thelmagazine.com, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for AsianConnections.com. She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.