7 Questions with Phillip Lee of COOK The Movie
7 Questions is a series of interviews with the culinary movers and shakers you want or ought to know better.
Chef Phillip Lee is the owner of Wolf Cuisine where he and his staff are bringing the “Chefs Tasting Menu” home with LA’s first ever high end multi-course delivery service. The 10 course menu is priced at $200 per person which includes tax, service, and delivery.
Prior to opening Wolf Cuisine with his associate Sylvain Allard, Phillip worked at many top restaurants in LA as well as in Chicago. He served as sous chef at both Hatfield’s Restaurant where he served under chef/owner Quinn Hatfield and with Top Chef alum Stefan Richter at LA Farm, he also spent time at both L20 and Grant Achatz’s groundbreaking eatery Alinea. Chef Lee was also the executive sous chef at Park Grill at Millennium Park in Chicago.
So as you can see Phillip Lee is a highly successful chef by anyone’s standards. But did you know that he is also a screenwriter and director? It’s true and his current project, COOK: The Movie, combines his writing skills and his years in the restaurant industry to give the first ever accurate portrayal of a chef’s life for the big screen. Here’s the Trailer:
Lee’s film is set and a distribution deal for a wide theatrical release is secured. To keep the suits from putting that usual Hollywood patina over his story, Lee has gone the indie route to protect his film’s integrity. To hammer down the final funding nessecary to bring COOK to the masses he has partnered with Kickstarter to nail down the final budget.
Phillip Lee is a busy man but not too busy to answer 7 Questions:
1. How old were you when you first started to cook?
I began cooking for fun when i was 9 years old with my father in our home. When I was 19, I was playing drums for a few different touring bands and needed a part time job in between tours, so I got a job washing dishes for a local catering company.
2. When did you decide that you could make food your career?
About 6 months after getting a job as a dishwasher I was moved up to prep, and from prep I got a 2nd job at a local restaurant working on the line. After two years of juggling music and cooking I quit playing music and enrolled in Culinary school.
3. Which chefs have influenced you the most?
Michael Cimarusti, Grant Achatz, Quinn Hatfield
4. Do you feel that Hollywood has done a good job of accurately portraying chefs on the screen?
In short, no. In long, I feel Hollywood has done a fantastic job of glorifying the prestige of a chef, but has yet to accurately portray the livelihood or the strength and perseverance it takes to become one.
5. What inspired you to write COOK?
Every time a new movie comes out about a “chef” or about “food” I’m always the first one to the box office, and I usually leave the theater unsatisfied or feeling cheated. So one day I thought to myself, hey, if Hollywood is not going to do it right, why not just take it upon myself?
6. How much of the script is drawn from your real life experiences?
Almost all of it. By no means is this script autobiographical, but everything in the script has either happened to me, in front of me, to a close friend or in my imagination.
7. If people want to learn more about COOK or help you reach your funding goals where should they go?
Please visit www.cookthemovie.com we are proud to keep this film independent and are building a foundation by offering the general public fun incentives for their contributions.
COOK stars Adam Christy (Swing Man, Law & Order: LA), Arielle Kebbel (90120, Life Unexpected), Lindsey Mckeon (One Tree Hill, Supernatural), Brian Goodman (Rizzoli & Isles, Lost, Catch Me If You Can) and Phil Abrams (Greys Anatomy, Lost).