PROFESSION: Executive Chef / Partner 610 Magnolia
CULINARY EDUCATION: Self-taught
Edward Lee is chef & owner of 610 Magnolia in Louisville, Kentucky. A Brooklyn native, Lee found his way to Louisville while attending The Kentucky Derby in 2003 and destiny brought him to the restaurant, 610 Magnolia. The following year, he bought the restaurant with partner Brook Smith and moved to Louisville. With Lee at the helm, 610 Magnolia has been praised as the fine dining destination of the region. In 2011, he was a Finalist for The Best Chef Award Southeast from the James Beard Foundation.
Lee attended college at NYU graduating Magna cum Laude with a degree in English Literature. At 22, he chose to pursue a culinary career instead of a literary one. He staged in a number of restaurants in France and after a brief stint working at several high profile restaurants in NYC, Lee opened Clay in 1998 at the age of 25. When he’s not cooking, Lee is hanging out with animals (both four legged and two legged), hunting game birds, eating fried chicken, singing karaoke and trying to perfect a one handed backhand. His wife, Dianne, is his biggest fan and strongest inspiration. “If I can do one thing to make her proud, my work is done.”