Executive Chef, Melissa Lee
Executive Chef, Melissa Lee
Chef Melissa Lee was born and raised in southern Ireland. Her family owned & operated multiple Cantonese restaurants. By the age of 9, she worked side by side with her father learning this cuisine. This sparked her passion and desire to pursue a career in Culinary arts at The Limerick Institute of Technology. Through her hard work & dedication, Melissa received a International scholarship.
In July 2001 Melissa joined Marriott International as Chef de Partie /fine dining in Dearborn Michigan. Chef Melissa always dreamed about travelling internationally, which lead her to her next adventure with Cunard Cruise line. She held the title of Sous Chef/Production Galley on board The Queen Elizabeth 2, the largest ocean liner in the world at the time. Upon completing the world cruise, she was hungry for her next step.
In 2004, Melissa returned to the states by accepting the position of Banquet Kitchen Supervisor/ Departmental Trainer at The Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City. In joining the Ritz-Carlton family, she felt at home with others that were just as driven and passionate about Culinary. Being recognized for her talents and abilities, she was sought after as a production sous chef at The Ritz Carlton Amelia Island in 2006.
During her time at Amelia Island she was quickly promoted to Chef Garde Manger. While holding this position, she took on the role of Banquet Chef. In 2007 Melissa’s talents and abilities lead her to her next promotion of Chef Tournant, overseeing 8 functional departments.
In October 2009, Melissa transferred to The Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes as Chef Tournant. While in this role she received most innovative leader of the year. Melissa was recognized for her continuous growth and development by receiving a promotion to Executive Sous Chef. While holding this position she awarded Leader of the Year by her leaders & peers.
In August 2012 Melissa accepted the esteemed position of Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis where her talent in the culinary arts continues to tantalize even the most discerning palate and inspire all individuals that are touched by her passion both inside and outside of the kitchen.
Throughout her 14 years of cooking in addition to the experiences listed above, Melissa has had many great ventures. Melissa’s mother always instilled that “the world is your oyster, and never hold back”. Chef Melissa has lived by this philosophy her entire career. “ I have travelled & seen the world. I believe that 90 percent of my success is my heart & love for what I do. I continually challenge and refine my talents & abilities allowing me to develop & grow others”.
The best dish Chef Melissa has ever made? “A childhood favorite Cantonese style duck, Napa cabbabe, with a Sweet Soy Glaze – trained by my Dad”.