Frank Lee began his culinary career working in small restaurants in Columbia, South Carolina. In the 1980’s, he went to work training under Jovan Trboyevic at the French restaurant, Le Perroquet, in Chicago. It provided the classic training that is still at the core of Chef Lee’s food. After two years there, he traveled to Washington DC, to learn finesse, subtlety, and the fine art of great sauces from Chef Yannick Cam at Le Pavillon.
In 1990, longing to return to South Carolina, Chef Frank Lee went back to the Relais & Chateaux Restaurant Million, in Charleston as sous chef. In 1991, he was asked to become Executive Chef at Charleston’s oldest restaurant, The Colony House. A year later it was sold, and the previous owner opened Slightly North of Broad and brought Chef Frank Lee along as Executive Chef.
In 1996, Great Chefs television taped Chef Frank Lee preparing sautéed Shiitake Mushrooms with Foie Gras and Port Wine Sauce for their Great Chefs of America series, and Grilled Barbecue Tuna for their Great Chefs of the South series and cookbook.
“I still get excited about this business”, says Chef Lee who still spends at least 3 to 4 hours a day at the stove, spreading the gospel of sustainability. Considered a guiding force in the Low Country’s culinary renaissance, Chef Lee has mentored dozens of young chefs.
“One of my favorite things is seeing our chefs de cuisine take an idea, and flesh it out, and make it so much better than I could myself”, said Lee.