Who Is The Old Fashioned Butcher?

CHRISTOPHER LEE
Chef, salumiere

Born in Chicago, Christopher is descended from Southern folks who cooked well.  Christopher studied philosophy, art history, and hid in the music department from 1970-74 at Northern Illinois University.  Along the way, he became enchanted with food and cooking, and thoughts of becoming a chef soon took over.  In 1976, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to follow his dream.

Upon arriving in Berkeley, Christopher joined the team of Narsai’s Restaurant and Market, where he led the Catering Division of Narsai’s empire for seven years, and opened two esteemed Narsai’s Cafés, in San Francisco.

In 1987, Christopher joined the kitchen of Chez Panisse Restaurant, where he cooked for the next 16 years, as Chef of the restaurant for 9 of those years. He began curing meats – in particular, prosciutto – in a temperature-and-humidity-controlled shed he built behind the restaurant.  During his tenure, the restaurant held 4 Stars from the San Francisco Chronicle; was named "Best Restaurant in America" in 2001 by Gourmet Magazine; and was ranked number twelve in the world by Restaurant magazine, a top British trade journal.

Christopher opened his own celebrated Eccolo Restaurant in Berkeley in 2004. His kitchen received three stars from the San Francisco Chronicle, and was listed as one of its “Top 100 Restaurants in the Bay Area.”

Later, Christopher co-created the renowned and adored Pop Up General Store (PUGS), an Oakland-based food business incubator, where its 15-member group of cooks, food artisans, farmers, and craftsmen. PUGS was the first of its kind, had a huge local following, and established the format for many similar pop-ups to follow.

In NYC, Christopher built and created the salumeria and salumi program at il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, which was awarded 3 Stars by the New York Times. 

Today, Christopher consults for restaurants, salumerias, butcheries, and meat plants in the U.S. and in Europe.