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Susur Lee facts for kids

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Susur Lee
Born (1958-12-27) December 27, 1958 (age 65)
Occupation Chef/Cook
Known for Singapore Slaw
Style Fusion cuisine
Marilou Covey
(m. 1978; died 1983)
Brenda Bent
(m. 1991)
Susur Lee
Susur Lee
Traditional Chinese 李國緯
Simplified Chinese 李国纬

Susur Lee (Chinese: 李國緯; born December 1958) is a Canadian celebrity chef based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Culinary career

Susur was born in Hong Kong, the youngest of six children. He served his culinary apprenticeship at Hong Kong's Peninsula Hotel. He immigrated to Canada in 1978 and met and married his first wife, Marilou Covey, the same year. In 1983, Susur and Marilou had decided to move to Hong Kong, but Marilou died as a passenger aboard Korean Air Lines Flight 007, which was destroyed by a Soviet jet fighter. Susur married Brenda Bent in 1991, with whom he has three children: Kai, Levi, and Jet.

Susur worked his way to executive chef status at a number of restaurants and eventually became an entrepreneur. His eclectic culinary style is described as fusion cuisine. He is especially well known for "Singapore Slaw", his take on a Lo Hei salad, which is traditionally eaten during the Lunar New Year.

Susur 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 has made guest appearances on numerous television cooking shows, and was the second Canadian chef (after Rob Feenie) to appear on the Food Network's Iron Chef America.

Susur's career includes being a chef at numerous Toronto dining establishments, judging culinary events, appearing on many food and wine television shows and owning/managing popular restaurants in Canada, United States and Singapore. Lotus, his first restaurant, opened in Toronto in 1987. He owns and manages Susur Lee Restaurant Group.


Susur's awards include the CAA Five Diamond Award, Cannes, France; the American Academy of Hospitality Services' 5 Diamond Award (selected as one of the "World's Best Chefs") and being named one of the "Ten Chefs of the Millennium" by Food & Wine. In 2017 he was given "Canada's Best 100 Lifetime Achievement Award". In 2015, Susur was one of the recipients of the 2015 Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards presented by Canadian Immigrant Magazine.

Current restaurants

  • Lee, Toronto (owner and chef), 2004 – present
  • Tung Lok Heen (formerly Chinois), Singapore (owner and chef), 2010–present
  • Lee Kitchen, Toronto Pearson International Airport, 2015–present
  • Kid Lee, Toronto (owner and chef), 2018–2020

Past restaurant affiliations

  • Luckee (Chinese: 祿記), Toronto (owner and chef), 2014–December 2018
  • Fring's, Toronto (co-owner rapper Drake), 2015–2018
  • Bent, Toronto (owner and chef), 2012–2017
  • Zentan at the Donovan House, Washington, D.C. (owner and chef), 2009–2013
  • Shang, New York (owner and chef), 2008–2011
  • Madeline's, Toronto (owner and chef), 2008–2010
  • Susur, Toronto (owner and chef), 2000–2008
  • Prague Fine Food Emporium, Toronto, 1998
  • Ritz-Carlton, Singapore (consulting chef), 1997
  • Kojis Kaizen, Montreal
  • Hemispheres, Toronto (consulting chef)
  • Oceans, 1990
  • Lotus, Toronto (owner and 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)


  • A Culinary Life, co-written with Canadian Chef Jacob Richler. Published by Ten Speed Press.

TV appearances

  • Iron Chef Canada - Iron Chef
  • Chopped Canada - guest judge
  • Top Chef Canada - guest judge
  • Top Chef - guest judge
  • Top Chef Masters - finalist (runner-up)
  • At the Table With... - biography on Susur's career
  • East Meets West - guest judge
  • Food Jammers - guest appearance in "Global Dumpling" episode
  • Iron Chef America - tied chef Bobby Flay in "Battle Bacon"
  • Opening Soon - Lee Restaurant
  • Restaurant Makeover - Dhaba Indian Excellence
  • Simply Ming - guest chef in the "Hoisin Sauce and Pizza Dough" episode
  • This Is Daniel Cook
  • Bizarre Foods America
  • MasterChef Asia - guest judge
  • Wall of Chefs - judge

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Susur Lee para niños

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