You don’t have to look far to see Chef Frank Lee’s influence on the Charleston culinary community. Chefs who got their start in his kitchen are now leading successful restaurants around the Holy City – and beyond.
Lee began his journey in Columbia, SC, where he and a few friends opened a natural foods co-op called 221 Pickens Street in 1973. He then spent time honing his French technique by apprenticing under some of the world’s top chefs including Jovan Trboyevic at Le Perroquet in Chicago and Yannick Cam of Le Pavillion in Washington, D.C. Lee returned to South Carolina to work at Wild dunes and later at the critically acclaimed Restaurant Million. Businessman Dick Elliott recruited Lee to join The Colony House – then Charleston’s oldest restaurant – as executive chef in 1992. He went on to become a partner with Elliott and David Marconi in Maverick Southern Kitchens, Inc.
While his role as executive chef at Slightly North of Broad requires business savvy, Lee notes “I really love the doing. There’s a Taoism about cooking. For us chefs, the kitchen is the only place where things make sense.” Lee still spends a good part of the day in the kitchen, his dedication evident not only in the food served each day at Slightly North of Broad but also in the relationships he cultivates with the chefs in the kitchen.
This one-night-only event will reunite Chef Lee with a number of the chefs who began their culinary careers in his kitchen. The guest chefs will be paired up and each team will prepare one of five courses for a seated dinner with wine pairings, while Chef Lee’s friends and colleagues will “toast” him and his accomplishments throughout the evening. Please join us for this exceptional event and be a part of the tribute to Chef Lee – your taste buds will thank you!
**All proceeds from the event will go directly to the Festival’s scholarship programs at the College of Charleston, Art Institute of Charleston and Culinary Institute of Charleston.