From Bondi Beach to Necker Island, Lee Cowie has chased the sun as he cooked up a storm. He’s now back in Sydney to take up his new mission.
The smell of his mother baking fresh bread in the family kitchen in New Zealand was the beginning of a culinary journey for Lee Cowie that would also turn into somewhat of an endless summer. Trading chilly New Zealand for sunny Sydney, Lee arrived in town just in time to take in the electric atmosphere of the Sydney Olympics while rattling the pans at the Swiss Grand Hotel, Bondi Beach. When the Bondi Beach vista grew tiresome, Lee packed his bags and headed to Richard Branson’s exclusive island paradise, the luxurious Necker Island in the Caribbean, quickly rising to the position of head chef. Lee describes cooking his first beach barbeque for island guests as simply perfect with cold beer, a glorious Caribbean sunset and a crackling bonfire.
Now back in Sydney, Lee is heading up the kitchen at Mission Restaurant and Bar. Situated in a gracefully renovated church in Sydney’s Chippendale, Mission comprises a modern Australian eatery downstairs and an art gallery upstairs. Lee counts Gordon Ramsay’s London restaurant as his ultimate dining experience, having celebrated his 30th birthday there. He looks to Gordon Ramsay as a source of inspiration along with fellow Kiwi Michael James, not to mention some of the old-school chefs like Raymond Blanc and Marco Pierre White. When Lee gets out of the kitchen at Mission he prefers to eat out but if he has to cook he likes to keep the focus on fresh vegetables. His tip for home cooks is to not be afraid to season, just do it bit by bit and keep tasting.... Read more.