Chef Edward Lee – Food, Culture and a Recipe for Leadership | #37

Today’s guest is Chef Edward Lee. Edward is a Brooklyn-born chef and restaurateur currently based in Louisville KY and Washington D.C. He has made numerous television appearances on shows including The Mind of a Chef on PBS and as a contestant on the ninth season of Top Chef. He is a seven-time James Beard Award nominee and currently owns five restaurants in both Louisville and Washington, DC. In his latest book, Buttermilk Graffiti Edward Lee dives into the intersection of food and culture on a trip across America where he finds exceptional food in unconventional places. Now here is our host David Novak and special guest Edward Lee.

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This great resource will help you along the way, during or after you listen to the podcast. Not only will you get to know our guest, you will be asked tough questions to really spearhead your journey to becoming a better leader! And look below for more insights and clips!!

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From Podcast Action Journal
Edward spent a lot of time with his grandmother. She was always cooking, and Edward was fascinated by what she did in the kitchen. She’d make tea and miso soup from scratch and haggle at the local ethnic market.
Edward remembers how he would try to spend time with her in the kitchen, but she would make him leave. In Korean culture, cooking was considered a woman’s work. Edward had to fight his way in. He told his grandma, “I live here, too, and you can’t kick me out.” She relented and gave him little jobs to do. He used that time to learn everything he could. That was the beginning of his culinary career.
(5:18-7:39)

Have you ever felt so passionate about something, you couldn’t be told no?
What are some ways you have you fought to be where you are today?
Edward believes in leading by example. He is never above doing any job. He has washed dishes and cleaned toilets. If he sees a problem, he deals with it. “This is not just a business, it’s about taking care of people,” he says. Edward wants everyone to feel like they are coming into his home. He cares about his people and thinks of his team as more than employees; they are family.
(17:35-19:05)
When a leader leads by example, how does it affect the organization?
How do you show your team that you care about them?

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