Chef Christopher Lee is the Executive Chef and owner of Huntington Social in Huntington, New York and Sophia’s in Philadelphia. In early 2012, Chef Lee launched Iki sake in collaboration with the prestigious sake brewery Takasago Shuzo and Japanese rice farmers Muminmura Company. Chef Lee traveled to the brewery in Asahikawa City, Hokkaido, Japan, to taste and consult on the exact blend of Iki sake, tailoring it to pair exceptionally well with his creative and seasonal food concepts.
Prior to opening his own venture, Lee was the Executive Chef of Charlie Palmer’s flagship restaurant Aureole. Under his leadership, the restaurant received an unprecedented 29-point food rating by Zagat, the highest rating in New York City for 2009. Lee was selected as a contestant for Bravo’s inaugural season of Top Chef Masters in 2009.
In developing his culinary career, Lee has enjoyed extraordinary success and recognition for his work in the kitchen. From 2006 to 2008, Lee was the Executive Chef at Gilt in New York City, where he earned the restaurant two Michelin stars. During the same time period, Lee was selected as one of Food and Wine magazine’s “Top Ten Best New Chefs.” Prior to Gilt, Lee was the Executive Chef of Steven Starr’s legendary restaurant, Striped Bass, in Philadelphia from 2004 to 2006. During this time, Striped Bass received a highly coveted “Four Bells” review from the Philadelphia Inquirer, the title of “Best New American Restaurant 2004” by Travel + Leisure magazine, and in 2006 was selected as one of the country's top restaurants by Gourmet magazine. In 2005, the James Beard Foundation recognized Lee as the “Rising Star Chef of the Year.”
Lee is a 1999 graduate of the California Culinary Academy and spent the early years of his career refining classic and contemporary techniques in the country's most prestigious restaurants, including Daniel, Jean Georges and Oceana in New York City, and the Fifth Floor in San Francisco. Lee credits the many great chefs he has worked with as influencing his culinary perspective, which he defines as creatively based in abstract art and focusing on the purity and seasonality of each ingredient.