Benu – "Corey Cuisine"
It is not a simple task to put a label on Chef Patron Corey Lee’s innovative and intelligent cuisine. It has several American progressive touches, but is most reminiscent of cuisines from Asian countries. But most of all, Chef Lee’s cuisine is a personal expression from an extraordinary talent, striving to do something different. Chef Corey’s cuisine is unique and something you have not had anywhere else and can best be described simply as “Corey Cuisine”.
Chef Patron Corey Lee was born in South Korea in 1977 and moved to the United States with his family in 1983. Corey’s mother cooked Korean cuisine for him during his childhood so he never forgot his origin and how delicious his home country’s food is. He had his first restaurant job when he was only 17, however Lee started in the dining room even if it did not take long before the young talent had his first job in a professional kitchen. Corey early understood that he was born to become a great chef. In 1997 he moved to London to work for some of that city’s most prominent restaurants like Pied à Terre, Savoy Grill and Oak Room. In addition Corey Lee also worked for chefs like Daniel Boulud, Guy Savoy and Alain Senderens before he started to work for Thomas Keller at his The French Laundry in 2001. Chef Lee worked as the Head Chef at The French Laundry during its absolute top era and he also spent a year in New York opening Keller’s Per Se. Corey Lee became Thomas Keller’s most important chef during the eight years working for him. Lee left The French Laundry in 2009 to spend a year of planning and creating his own restaurant.
Benu can not be more different compared to The French Laundry. It is almost impossible to understand how the Chef Patron of Benu actually has been the Head Chef of The French Laundry. Yes, the discipline and the outstanding quality are the same, but the concept, style and cuisine are very different, indeed. You can start a dinner with a thousand-year-old quail egg with nasturtium ginger and continue with some caramelized anchovy with potato-egg-salad. Not what to expect from any restaurant and when you are served the monkfish liver with sour cherry, pistachio, cauliflower and cherry blossom brioche you know that you are in for a different evening. The tasting menu consists of many dishes so set off the whole evening and indulge yourself in Corey’s universe. Chef Lee’s innovative cuisine is constantly changing and developing, and you never know what will arrive at your table even if you have the menu in advance. One of our favourite dishes is the different versions of whole stuffed sea cucumbers like the Hokkaido sea cucumber stuffed with shrimp, cucumber, onion and fermented pepper.
Benu is something all food lovers around the world should experience. Corey Lee is young and has many years ahead as one of the absolutely best chefs in the world.
Benu scored 85 points of 100 points in our rating system. View our Top 60 of the world. Back to the reviews.
Published: May 1, 2012
22 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, California 94105
Phone: +1 415 685 4860