The Michelin Guide only began reviewing US restaurants in 2005, yet it has established a reputation for favouring places that, while conforming to certain old-world standards, capture the finest in American dining today.
So, we were delighted to learn that Benu, Corey Lee’s Benu restaurant, which opened in San Francisco’s SOMA district in 2010, was awarded its third Michelin star, the guide’s highest accolade, when the new ratings for the city were announced yesterday.
Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea, raised on the East Coast, and has worked in restaurants in London and New York. He was also the chef de cuisine at The French Laundry (the first Californian establishment to first win three stars), in nearby Yountville, just north of San Francisco, for eight years.
Upon setting up his own place, Lee introduced Californian food lovers to some unfamiliar East Asian ingredients. Yet, as the chef explains, there remains something distinctly American about the adoption of new cultural influences…
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