Always in the kitchen creating new things, this chef’s dream is to one day have a six-seater restaurant where the menu will change every day.
Chanoh Lee has been cooking for as long as he can remember. He started working as a kitchen hand at the tender age of twelve, but even as a child he was playing with dough and garnishes at home. He trained in Korea and Japan, and also studied French cuisine before crossing the seas to Sydney. He worked a while at Pier before becoming head chef at the new Terrace on Stanley in East Sydney. His new job has made him grow up a lot, he says. Now he has the added responsibilities of running a kitchen, including ordering, paperwork and business. But this passionate chef is never happier than when he’s in the kitchen cooking. “You know when you have a really nice meal and a week later you can’t sleep and you have to have it again?” That’s what he would like to achieve.
Lee is impressed with the restaurant scene in Sydney, both in terms of the food (he cites Tetsuya’s and Pier as examples) and the service (pointing out Pello just across the road). However he thinks it’s a shame that there aren’t more fine dining Japanese and Korean restaurants in Sydney. For his last meal he would get a whole tuna, break it down into disparate sections and cook a different dish with each. To homecooks he has the following advice: don’t be lazy with your prep, keep organised and keep tidy. Don’t be afraid to do your own thing, but if you’re following someone else’s recipe then follow it exactly. When asked what he would be if he wasn’t a chef, Lee pauses thoughtfully. “A cook! I’m quite weird,” he laughs. “I want to die in the kitchen”..
Terrace on Stanley, NSW... Read more.