LYDIA & LEO LEE
Although not classically trained, Lydia grew up in her family's fast-pace bustling restaurant in Hong Kong. Her grandfather opened a Cantonese BBQ restaurant that served the public for more than 20 years. Even as a baby, she lived and breathed the essence of the restaurant. She used to clutch onto her half eaten bao and ran through the restaurant laughing and giggling, while her grandfather would chase after her with a bowl of rice and char siu, trying to feed her. Over the years, she watched her grandfather's love and dedication they had for the restaurant and it became instilled in her to do the same. Lydia has taken her grandfather’s lifelong dedication and family recipes and applied it towards RiceBox, keeping her family’s tradition alive.
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, showed an avid interest in cooking, while growing up in his grandparents’ Chinese restaurant in Mexicali, Mexico. Leo’s grandmother used to put him to work in the kitchen at a very young age. As a child, he thought he was only playing chef. Unbeknownst to him, his grandmother was actually teaching him skills and traditions that would become useful for the rest of his life. Upon graduating from The Culinary Institute of America, Leo worked in some of the best hotels and restaurants from New York, to Miami, and finally Los Angeles, where he managed multiple concepts for The Patina Restaurant Group. Leo has taken all he has learned from the CIA and the industry and have applied it towards RiceBox.
What tasting will you be serving? Why do you think this tasting paves the next wave of food trends?
We’re sharing a RBX Taro Shrimp Rice Roll tasting. We're taking something that is common and familiar to everyone and creating something new and different. Visually, it will be something you will recognize at dim sum. The taste and texture will be different and unique, but yet it is something that is familiar and comforting. What RiceBox does is we take dishes that we’re familiar with and reimagine it with our unique approach to it.
What does the future of Asian food look like?
Future of Asian food is now. We have so many amazing chefs doing so many amazing things with ingredients and dishes that we grew up with, it something to be proud of. Each and every one of us are doing something different and unique but, at the same time, we all have the same goal, is to share our culture and food with everyone. The more we share, the more we will grow. The future of Asian food is now and how we share our authenticity with everyone.
What does celebrating 10 lucky years of LUCKYRICE mean to you?
It means the world to us. LUCKYRICE is voice of our Asian culture, which is what RiceBox strives to be. We whole-heartedly believe that food is the best way to understand one’s culture and for LUCKYRICE to be doing it for 10 years, it is truly admirable. Being able to take part and celebrate 10 lucky years of LUCKYRICE is extremely humbling and honoring for us.
Enjoy a taste of the future from the Rice Box husband and wife team at our 10th year celebration LUCKYRICE Night Market of the Future on May 30th, 2019.