Chef Lee Anne Wong – French Culinary Institute, NY
Lee Anne Wong was one of the final four contestants on the very first season of Bravo’s Top Chef, for which she is now the Food Consultant. When she is not “top chefing” it, she is the Executive Chef of Event Operations at the French Culinary Institute.Wong has worked with esteemed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten as Chef de Partie at 66, and is well on her way to her own television career.
What is the most important aspect of cooking to you?
I think passion is the most important thing in cooking. Cooking embodies all five senses and when you can smell it, hear a pan sizzle, see a beautiful dish, experience the texture of the food and best of all, taste the food, it’s a an all-consuming, worthwhile thing.
What do you like about Japanese knives?
I have three favorite knives: my Minomoto 7” petty, my Glestain fish slicer and my Kasumi 10” slicer. I am particularly fond of the Damascus steel; it keep its edge longer. Plus with Japanese knives the blade tends to be thinner, which is great!
What made you want to be a chef?
My friends suggested that I go to cooking school, probably because they wanted to improve the quality of the food I was cooking for them! (Laughs.) My mom, who happens to be an amazing self-taught cook, thought I was crazy.