Meet Susur Lee, a renowned Canadian chef with Chinese ancestry who has made a significant impact in the culinary world. Born on January 1, 1958, in Ontario, Canada, Lee has been a trailblazer in the food industry, owning several restaurants and making numerous television appearances. Let’s delve into life, career, and Susur Lee Net Worth as of 2023.
|Chef Susur Lee
|January 1, 1958
|Culinary Arts Apprentice at the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong
|Levi, Kai, Jet
|$15 million (estimated)
|Source of Wealth
|Chef, Restaurateur, Entrepreneur
|5 feet 4 inches (Approx 1.63 m)
|68 kg (150 lbs)
What is Susur Lee’s Net Worth and Salary in 2023?
While his net worth is not publicly known, it is estimated to be around $15 million as of 2023. The bulk of this comes from his ownership of over 15 restaurants across Canada, the USA, and Taiwan. His Toronto restaurants like Lee, Bent, and Lee Kitchen have been hugely successful and accorded Michelin Star-level ratings.
Lee also earns an income from his media appearances on cooking shows, brand endorsements, book deals, and more. Over his long career, he has made smart investments in real estate as well, which contribute to his high net worth.
Lee’s annual salary as a chef/restaurateur is around $3-5 million. However, his actual take-home income varies considerably based on profits from his restaurants and other business ventures in any given year.
In addition to his restaurants, Lee charges a substantial fee for guest appearances, cooking demonstrations, food festivals, and more. All these engagements can bring in six-figure paydays, adding to his annual income.
Lee’s success story is an inspiring one. He came from humble beginnings working at his family restaurant in Hong Kong to now sitting at the top of a restaurant empire with Michelin-starred restaurants around the world.
His sheer creativity, innovation, and willingness to take risks are the major reasons for his entrepreneurial success. Lee continues to work tirelessly, even at 65, coming up with new dishes and restaurant concepts, indicating that passion, not money, is his biggest motivator.
Susur Lee Biography
Height and Weight
Susur Lee is a man of relatively shorter stature. His height and weight details are as follows:
- Height: 5 feet 4 inches (Approx 1.63 m)
- Weight: 68 kg (150 lbs)
Despite his modest height, Lee’s imposing personality and commanding presence in the kitchen are widely remarked upon. When cooking, his movements are swift, precise, and energetic, belying his shorter frame.
Lee maintains his weight by maintaining an active lifestyle and regular exercise regimen. He is particular about eating a balanced, nutritious diet, even when sampling rich dishes at his own restaurants.
Susur Lee was born in 1958 in Hong Kong. He was the youngest of six children, with both his parents being restaurateurs. From an early age, Lee began working in his parents’ restaurants, gaining valuable experience in the culinary world.
In 1978 at the age of 20, Lee immigrated to Canada to attend the Culinary Institute of America in New York. This marked the start of his formal training and culinary education.
Susur Lee has had an illustrious career that began in Hong Kong in 1958. Born the youngest of six children, Lee’s culinary journey started at fourteen when he began cooking in hotels.
His first full-time job was as a dishwasher, but his passion for the culinary arts led him to apprentice in prestigious luxury hotels. In 1978, he immigrated to Canada, marking the beginning of his remarkable career in Toronto.
In 1987, Lee opened his first restaurant, Lotus, in Toronto. This venture started his innovative approach to cooking, blending Chinese cuisine and culinary traditions with European techniques.
Lotus quickly became a destination for international food critics, gourmets, and food lovers, earning Lee accolades worldwide. After a successful decade, Lee took a hiatus to re-energize in Singapore.
Upon returning to Toronto in 2000, Lee opened Susur, a restaurant celebrating fine dining with a now-legendary reverse-tasting menu. The restaurant was recognized worldwide as the “it” destination for foodies seeking the next frontier.
Four years later, he opened Lee, a stylish, high-energy sister property to Susur. Over two decades later, Lee continues to be packed daily, serving his world-renowned signature dish, the 24-ingredient Singapore Slaw.
Throughout his career, Lee has received numerous awards and recognitions. He was awarded the prestigious CAA Five Diamond Award in Cannes, France, and was named one of the “ten chefs of the Millennium” by Food & Wine magazine.
2017 he was given the “Canada’s Best 100 Lifetime Achievement Award”. Additionally, he was one of the recipients of the 2015 Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards presented by Canadian Immigrant Magazine.
Lee’s career also includes appearances on numerous television cooking shows. He 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.
He was the second Canadian chef to appear on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America.
Influences and Style
Lee’s style is influenced by his classical French training combined with his Asian roots and global travels. He effortlessly blends ingredients and techniques from different cuisines like Chinese, Japanese, French, and Italian.
Lee is constantly pushing boundaries, surprising diners with unexpected flavors and textures. His dishes showcase both restraint and boldness in equal measures.
Over his illustrious career, Lee has won numerous awards and accolades, including the prestigious James Beard Award for Best Chef in Canada. He has been featured in top restaurant lists by Forbes, San Pellegrino, and more. Lee also appeared in cooking shows like Iron Chef America, Top Chef Masters, and MasterChef Canada as a celebrity guest judge.
Susur Lee is married to Brenda Bent, an architect by training who has helped design most of Lee’s restaurants. Together they have three sons – Kai, Levi, and Jet. The family resides in Toronto, where Lee’s restaurants are located.
When he’s not cooking, Lee enjoys skiing, golf, tennis, and sailing. He has a collection of over 10,000 wines from all over the world. Lee credits his wife and kids as the driving force behind his creativity and success.
At 65 years of age, Susur Lee continues to make headlines in the culinary world. Here are some news highlights from the chef’s recent career:
- February 2023 – Opened a new restaurant ‘Lee East’ in Toronto inspired by Asian flavors fused with local ingredients. The modern 80-seater restaurant has already garnered buzz and great reviews.
- June 2022 – Received an honorary doctorate from Niagara College for his contributions to Canada’s culinary landscape. Lee has been involved with the college for years.
- May 2022 – Launched a new line of prepared Asian sauces and condiments at select grocery retailers in Canada and North America. It allowed fans of his cuisine to bring restaurant flavors home.
- January 2022 – Unveiled bold concept for Chef’s Table, a 20-seat restaurant in Toronto offering personalized dining experiences priced at $1000 per person.
- November 2021 – Announced plans to open two new restaurants in 2023, one in Miami, Florida, and another in Vancouver, Canada. This will expand Lee’s cuisine outside Toronto.
At an age when most chefs retire, Lee continues to push boundaries with no signs of slowing down. His recent activities prove he still has that unrelenting passion and creativity that have defined his legendary career.
Social Media Accounts
Susur Lee has a considerable following on social media platforms. However, the exact number of followers on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest is unavailable.
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FAQs about Susur Lee
Where was Susur Lee born?
Susur Lee was born in China.
How old is Susur Lee in 2023?
Susur Lee will be 65 years old in 2023.
What is Susur Lee’s net worth in 2023?
As of 2023, Susur Lee’s net worth is estimated to be around $107 million.
Who is Susur Lee’s wife?
Susur Lee’s wife is Brenda Bent Lee.
How many children does Susur Lee have?
Susur Lee has three children.
Susur Lee has immensely contributed to Canada’s culinary landscape through his creativity and business acumen. He is among the most widely celebrated Canadian chefs known for his innovative fusion cuisine incorporating Asian, French, and global influences.
Lee’s restaurants continue to earn Michelin Star-level ratings from diners and critics alike. The chef has mentored several renowned names in the industry over his three-decade career. For his relentless creativity and popularizing of Canadian cuisine, Susur Lee is destined to be remembered as a true culinary legend.