Jinhee Lee – Executive Chef Foreign Concept
The 2017 Canadian Culinary Championships is taking place this weekend in Kelowna, BC February 3-4, 2017. The eleven competing chefs will be aiming for gold as they compete in three events over two days testing their skills, creativity and endurance. We caught up with Calgary’s Chef Jinhee Lee and are cheering her and all the chefs on as they battle for gold!
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR RESTAURANT AND/OR STYLE OF COOKING
Foreign concept is modern pan Asian restaurant celebrating ingredients and flavours from countries such as Vietnam, Korean,China and Japan. My cooking style is clean, uncomplicated and flavorful food that is driven by Technic and ingredients.
WHERE DO YOU EAT IN YOUR CITY?
Anju!! one of my favorite restaurant in Calgary. Anju is a Modern Korean Tapas. Nice ambiance, great food and good service.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR IDEAL FOOD DAY?
Sunday Korean BBQ with some of my closest friends.
WHAT TREND DO YOU WISH WOULD DIE?
The overuse of micro green for garnishing
WHAT TREND/S DO YOU WISH WOULD BE NEXT?
More ethnic food.
WHAT INGREDIENT DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE ON HAND?
Onions and green onions. I love playing with green onion and onion and like to confit, roast, grill, sous vide, puree, braise or char them. One of my favorite menu that I created for Foreign concept is charred onion with doubanjang sauce.
WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO RECIPE WHEN YOU’RE EATING AT HOME?
Stir fry vegetable or meat with Gochujang sauce (Korean fermented chili paste). Of course with rice.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU WISH YOU HAD IN YOUR KITCHEN?
Binchoten grill. Binchotan is high quality charcoal from Japan. It create high temperature(about 1000 degrees Celsius) then ordinary charcoal so it creates really good charcoal flavour and smell.
WHAT COOKBOOK WOULD YOU SUGGEST FOR A GIFT FOR YOUR FOODIE FRIENDS
THIS YEAR? I fell in love with Vietnamese flavors. Slanted door is a great cookbook to assist cooks in understanding Vietnamese flavors.
ANY HINTS ON WHAT DISH YOU WILL BE PREPARING FOR GOLD MEDAL PLATES?
“Cha Ca La Vong” This dish is about my travelling experience in Vietnam and specifically my visit to Hanoi. I found a restaurant that served one dish and I fell in love with it and its flavors. I will bring that experience to my dish.
WHAT WINE/BEER/LIBATION ARE YOU PAIRING WITH THIS YEAR?
Bartier Brothers 2014 Gewurztraminer, Okanagan Valley,BC
WHO IS COMING WITH YOU?
My biggest mentor in my culinary career is Duncan Ly. I helped him Culinary Championships 2014. We brought the Silver medal home. This year Duncan will be my sous chef. It means a lot to me.
More About Chef Lee
With fierce passion and a natural talent for cooking, Chef Jinhee Lee inspires the innovative culinary creations exciting her dinners where ever she goes. Hailing from South Korea, Jinhee first moved to Calgary with sights set on a corporate profession before finding herself in SAIT’s professional cooking program.
Over the years of her cooking career, Jinhee has impressed many with her inventive and refined approach to food where she continues to draw from the cuisine of her heritage as well as other Asian influences. Known for creative flavours and thoughtful dishes, she earned a spot on Avenue Calgary’s Top 5 People to Watch in Calgary’s Food Scene in 2016.
Collecting numerous accolades, Jinhee was the winner of the 2012 Calgary Stampede Dueling Chefs competition and the 2013 Art Gallery of Calgary Cooks critics’ award. Notably the only female chef at the 2015 Gold Medal Plates competition, Jinhee took home an impressive silver and recently took home gold at the 2016 Gold Medal Plates. Her style is clean, uncomplicated food combining exceptional ingredients to develop incredible flavors that respect tradition.
Jinhee had been a chef de cuisine at Raw Bar over 3 years. During the time, Raw Bar had earned a spot on Avenue Calgary’s Best Top 10 Restaurants 2015 and 2016. She is set to take over as executive Chef of Foreign Concept. A new modern Pan-Asian restaurant Set to open this December of 2016.