Chef Jinhee Lee
Chef & Owner
Calgary, AB

2016 Calgary Gold Medal Plate winner
2017 Canadian Culinary Championship winner
2017 PEI international Shellfish Festival winner

Born and raised from South Korea, moved in Calgary, AB in 2006. Jinhee fell in love with cooking while watching a chef instructor make a hollandaise sauce when she was on school tour. After finishing the professional cooking program, she worked in restaurants and hotels, and was honored to be the Chef de Cuisine at Raw Bar until 2015. After that journey, she decided to be a partner with her mentor Chef Duncan Ly, and was the Executive Chef at Foreign Concept. Due to a health condition, she decided to take a year off and go back to her motherland, where she had the best time and enjoyed the company of family and friends. At the beginning of the pandemic, she was given the opportunity to open her own restaurant in Calgary, where in she can put all her passion and ideas, incorporating her food culture, and that’s how she started JIN BAR.

What made you want to become a chef?

“I enjoy making food because it makes different kind of people, with different culture comes together. I love to make food that people can enjoy.”

Why do you use Alberta ingredients in your kitchen?

“We use mostly Alberta ingredients in our kitchen, not only to support the locals but because I know it comes from good farm and environment.”

What is your favourite Alberta ingredient to use?

“We mostly use seasonal vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and such. It is a very versatile ingredients to make a dish. It can be a main, appetizer and even dessert.”

What dish should guests be sure to try on your menu?

“Seasonal pickled vegetable that goes along well with our fried chicken. We picked them up from our local farmer’s market and pickle them in-house.”

What is a favourite kitchen/cooking memory?

“I would say my favourite memory is when I was doing the black box challenge with Duncan Ly (who is my culinary mentor) at the 2017 Canadian Culinary Championship. It was the most intense cooking experienced, and I was so proud of us for pulling out a beautiful well balanced, 12 plates with mystery ingredients in an hour.”

Why do you take part in Alberta on the Plate?

“We want to support local farmers and produce as much as we can.”