Where to take Bonjwing Lee for a drink in Midtown? The food photographer and restaurant reviewer behind the blog The Ulterior Epicure – no title is more befitting – dines out more nights than not. And not just anywhere. Most days, Lee is racking up Michelin stars around the world over breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Lee is one of the preeminent food photographers of today, renowned for his beautiful, yet strikingly simple photographs of chefs, food and the places he travels to. His restaurant reviews are written with a deep understanding of what goes into creating each dish. There’s hardly a chef he doesn’t know personally, and his personal log of restaurants visited would make any foodie weep.
I do my research and learn that Lee hasn’t been to Má Pêche since 2010. I’m honored to be the one to introduce him to Crack Pie, and over pretzel milk I discover the downside to being one of the most popular bloggers out there, his favorite New York haunts and why he loves Michelin.
You’re a film major-turned lawyer-turned food photographer. How did that happen?
I’ve always been creative. At film school, I was less into the production side of film-making, but loved taking film stills. I was pretty bored as a lawyer, so I started writing about the restaurants I was dining at, and taking photos of food. I’ve always loved to eat, I can’t say no to anything. The blog just grew from there.
I still feel like a little boy, I can’t believe that I get to work with people that I admire in this industry.