Stephen Lee was born in Huntington Beach California in 1967. He was moved to Seattle at the age of ten after losing his mother to a car accident. During the 80’s & 90’s, Stephen spent his teenage and early years as any respectable hoodlum would, scavenging and wreaking havoc on the city streets. Influenced by the punk rock music scene, Stephen and his counterparts were among the Seattle youth who shaped and defined the grunge scene, a bohemian milieu that set the context for much of his life.
His first job as a teenager was at Ave. Ristorante, an Italian joint in Seattle’s University district, busing tables until the owner, Bruno Pacci, quickly advanced him to the kitchen, tossing dough and throwing together pizza pies. Stephen’s gypsy lifestyle, hitchhiking city to city, led him to acquire extensive cooking experience in many varied environments, traversing from small diner cooking to cooking on farms to across the Atlantic Ocean where he learned advanced cooking techniques in the great culinary city of Rome, Italy. During his travels, Stephen worked on several farms, spending many years practicing the philosophy and science of sustainable agriculture; working with the understanding that maintaining the integrity of the soil and the seeds should never be compromised.
Growing his own food was a natural step as a sustainable chef to refining his own menu, using only the freshest, highest quality ingredients that he had nurtured himself. In January of 2015 Stephen was selected as a contestant on the FOX network’s hit cooking show, MasterChef, Season 6. His MasterChef experience has been the capstone of his life travels and he is grateful to those who have given him the opportunity, which include at the top of the list, the incomparable chef and Michelin star restaurateur, Gordon Ramsay, who he is honored to have met and cooked for.
Stephen currently lives in Palm Springs California with his girlfriend and continues to be a steward of the land and the food it produces. He hopes to inspire people to choose their food wisely and with care.