Who is Chef Susur Lee? Biography, Net Worth & Story

If you’re a foodie or simply someone who appreciates the art of cuisine, the name Susur Lee is bound to ring a bell. This Canadian celebrity chef, born on January 1, 1958, in Hong Kong, has carved out an exceptional niche for himself in the realm of Asian fusion cuisine.

His culinary prowess has earned him a well-deserved spot among the most influential chefs of our time, with a net worth estimated at a staggering $8 million

Join us as we delve into the inspiring tale of Susur Lee, a journey that spans continents, cultures, and an unwavering passion for culinary excellence.

Humble Beginnings and the Pursuit of Passion

Humble Beginnings and the Pursuit of Passion

Susur Lee’s love affair with the culinary arts began at the tender age of 16, when he embarked on an apprenticeship at the iconic Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong.

Little did he know then that this first step would pave the way for a remarkable career that would transcend borders and redefine the art of Asian fusion cuisine.

In 1978, Lee made the bold decision to leave his homeland and immigrate to Toronto, Canada, a move that would ultimately shape his destiny. It was here, in the bustling culinary landscape of Toronto, that Lee’s dreams began to take flight.

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The Birth of a Culinary Phenomenon

After years of honing his skills and perfecting his craft, Susur Lee took a leap of faith and opened his first restaurant, Lotus, in 1987. This daring venture proved to be a resounding success, earning critical acclaim for its innovative fusion of Eastern and Western flavors.

For a decade, Lotus remained a shining beacon in Toronto’s culinary scene, solidifying Lee’s reputation as a true visionary and pioneer in the world of Asian fusion cuisine.

Lee’s star continued to rise as he graced the screens of renowned reality cooking competitions, including the prestigious Top Chef: Masters, where he showcased his skills alongside culinary legends like Bobby Flay. His appearance on Iron Chef America further cemented his status as a force to be reckoned with in the culinary world.

Susur Lee’s Restaurant Empire

Today, Susur Lee’s culinary empire spans four remarkable establishments, each offering a unique and unforgettable dining experience:

  • Lee: Toronto’s crown jewel, where Lee’s culinary artistry takes center stage.
  • Bent: A testament to Lee’s innovative spirit, blending flavors and cultures seamlessly.
  • Luckee: A playful twist on traditional Asian fare, infused with Lee’s signature flair.
  • Kee Kitchen: A casual yet sophisticated dining destination for those seeking a taste of Lee’s culinary genius.

How did Susur Lee become famous?

Susur Lee’s rise to fame can be attributed to his unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of Asian fusion cuisine.

His pioneering spirit and innovative approach at Lotus, combined with his appearances on popular television shows like Top Chef: Masters and Iron Chef America, catapulted him into the limelight.

Moreover, the release of his autobiographical book, “Susur: A Culinary Life,” offered readers an intimate glimpse into his remarkable journey, further solidifying his status as a culinary icon.

The Man Behind the Culinary Masterpieces

While Susur Lee’s professional achievements are nothing short of extraordinary, his personal life is equally compelling.

Tragically, his first wife, Marilou, lost her life as a passenger aboard the ill-fated Korean Airlines flight 007, which was tragically shot down by a Soviet jet fighter. In 1983, Lee found love again, marrying Brenda Bent, with whom he has three sons: Jet Bent Lee, Levi Bent Lee, and Kai Bent Lee.

Despite the challenges life has thrown his way, Susur Lee’s resilience and dedication to his craft have remained unwavering. His presence on social media platforms like Instagram, where he boasts over 407,000 followers, and Facebook, with over 7,100 followers, further showcases his connection with fans and admirers from around the globe.


How many restaurants does Susur Lee have?

As of now, Susur Lee’s culinary empire encompasses four remarkable restaurants: Lee, Bent, Luckee, and Kee Kitchen, each offering a unique and unforgettable dining experience.

What happened to Susur Lee?

Contrary to popular belief, Susur Lee is very much active and thriving in the culinary world. He continues to oversee his four successful restaurants and remains a prominent figure in the culinary landscape, inspiring chefs and food enthusiasts alike with his innovative approach to Asian fusion cuisine.

Where does Susur Lee live?

While he has ventured far and wide, Susur Lee’s home base remains in Toronto, Canada, where most of his highly acclaimed restaurants are located. Details about his personal residence remain private, but one can only imagine the culinary wonders that unfold within its walls.

A Lasting Legacy and Culinary Inspiration

Susur Lee’s impact on the culinary world extends far beyond his restaurants and television appearances. His unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries and fusing diverse flavors has inspired countless chefs and food enthusiasts across the globe.

From the bustling streets of Hong Kong to the vibrant culinary scene of Toronto, Lee’s influence can be felt in the dishes and menus of establishments that have embraced the art of Asian fusion cuisine.

As he continues to create culinary masterpieces and shape the future of fusion cuisine, Susur Lee’s story serves as a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and an unwavering pursuit of excellence.

His journey is a true inspiration, reminding us that with unwavering determination and a love for one’s craft, even the most ambitious dreams can be realized.


Susur Lee’s story is one of triumph, resilience, and an unwavering passion for culinary artistry. From his humble beginnings as a young apprentice in Hong Kong to his current status as a culinary icon, Lee’s journey is a testament to the power of hard work, innovation, and an unyielding spirit.

As we bid farewell to this captivating tale, we are left with a newfound appreciation for the art of fusion cuisine and a deep respect for the man who has dedicated his life to pushing the boundaries of culinary excellence.

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