Barteca restaurant group announced the appointment of Chef Christopher Lee to the newly created position of Culinary Director for Barcelona Wine Bars & Restaurants. The group of Spanish tapas restaurants currently has locations throughout Connecticut and in Boston, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, each featuring its own executive chef.
With a background at some of the top dining restaurants in New York, including Daniel, Jean-Georges, and Oceana, Chef Lee attracted national attention as the opening executive chef at Striped Bass in Philadelphia, winning both the James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef in 2005 and Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef 2006. He returned to New York to lead Gilt and Charlie Palmer’s Aureole to Michelin star ratings.
In this new role, Chef Lee will serve as a mentor and teacher, providing continuity, insight, and inspiration. Working one-on-one with each of the Barcelona chefs, he will help elevate the core menu items that have made the brand successful. The new goal is to pair taste with presentation.
Barcelona chefs will continue to create their own location-specific dishes inspired by local produce, personal travels, experience, and imagination. But they will also benefit from Chef Lee’s experiences and successes, as he introduces new techniques, new ideas and new inspiration.
He will also support the team in mastering the business side of being a chef, including budgeting, managing food costs, sourcing the best local ingredients, and the everyday stresses of running a restaurant kitchen. In addition, he will be actively searching for new talent and training those who will become executive chefs in new locations.
“The next step of my career is mentoring all of these great chefs, being their teacher,” Chef Lee says. “I’ve been mentored over the years by so many great chefs, and I’m excited to give back.”
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