There is a lot of Ed Lee news in recent weeks. Restaurateur Edward Lee, of 610 Magnolia and Milkwood renown locally, in addition to opening soon Whiskey Dry at Fourth St. Live!, is planning a second restaurant in the Washington, D.C. area, has bottled for retail sale his own recipe hot sauce, gained mention in a national publication for 610’s wine list, and will be a judge on a new cooking shown this fall.
Lee opened Succotash in 2015 in the National Harbor are of Washington. He is now planning a second Succotash location on F Street in the Penn Quarter neighborhood of D.C. The menu at his Washington restaurants offers updates of southern classics influenced by Lee’s Korean roots. Among the offerings are shrimp ‘n’ grits, fried chicken and waffles, kimchi collard greens, and of course, his version of succotash. No opening date has been set.
Through a partnership with Bourbon Barrel Foods LLC, Lee is bottling and marketing Sambal Hot Sauce, a condiment that, Lee says, is flavorful and nuanced as well as spicy. The recipe is one that Lee has used in Milkwood for several years. Lee developed a test run with Matt Jamie of Bourbon Barrel Foods, which successfully test-marketed it. The sauce is a blend of cayenne pepper mash, various spices, fish sauce, vinegar, sorghum and soy sauce. It is available on line and at Bourbon Barrel Foods store, 2710 Frankfort Avenue for $12 for a 200-milliliter bottle.
Earlier in the summer, Wine Enthusiast magazine listed 610 Magnolia among the 100 American restaurants with a note-worthy wine list, one among “the 100 restaurants that we’re most excited about right now, a mix of old and new, formal and casual, with influences from around the globe.”
Lee has already had considerable TV exposure, as a contestant on the ninth season of “Top Chef” and a featured chef on “MasterChef” and “The Mind of a Chef.” This fall, he will be the chef judge of “Culinary Genius,” a new show that premieres on Fox as a test run in select U.S. markets — Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Minneapolis, New York, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Orlando and Charlotte. In Louisville, you’ll have to watch it on Facebook.
According to a story in Louisville Business First, “each episode of ‘Culinary Genius’ begins with a cooking demonstration by Lee, followed by competition between five contestants — all of whom are home cooks. At the end of each episode, the contestants will present final dishes to Lee, who will judge them and decide on a winner to receive the title of Culinary Genius.”
“It’s an intense competition wherein home cooks have to withstand my criticism,” Lee said in a news release. “But at the same time, I’m trying to inspire home cooks to cook their very best.”