Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai
- Mae Rim-Samoeng Old Road, 50180 Mae Rim, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2015
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Executive Chef, Four Seasons Hotel Seoul
- Four Seasons Hotel Seoul; Park Hyatt Busan; Park Hyatt Seoul; Hyatt Regency Hakone, Japan; The Ritz Carlton Seoul
- Culinary, Kyung-Hee Cyber University, Seoul
- Kyoung-Ju, Korea
- Korean, English
Jaeyoung Lee or Jay as he is fondly known, helms the culinary operations at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai after a very successful tenure in Seoul where he served as Executive Chef from pre-opening in 2015.
Always preferring to be in the floor and in the kitchens, Jay’s hands-on style of management keeps him constantly engaged with his teams and alert to what the guests’ experiences are. “I started out in an army kitchen, where food and dining were all about the camaraderie,” says Jay, explaining that a sense of togetherness is a priority in his teams.
Discovering his passion for cooking while in the Korean military, Jay looked to pursue a career in the kitchen, “When I made soup in the army, it was always well received. I knew I wanted to do much more,” he smiles. Starting out as demi chef depPartie with the Ritz-Carlton Seoul, he quickly rose up the ranks and became a pre-opening specialist, having been part of several winning teams including Park Hyatt Seoul and Hyatt Regency Hakone, Japan. As the executive sous chef of Park Hyatt Busan, he demonstrated his skills as a manager of talent, where he was involved in the strategizing, budgeting and revenue generation.
However, it was with the launch of Four Seasons Hotel Seoul in 2015 where Chef Jay really came into his own, leading a team of 135 chefs. Opening a flagship hotel and building a Four Seasons culture within the kitchens there has been challenging and yet rewarding in many ways ,but none of it would have been possible without the right team around him, “Training and developing talent happens over time. Identifying the potential in a recruit is where the advantage of a chef’s experience lies.”
"Earning a Michelin star for the Chinese restaurant Yu Yuan was special, but really it was the dynamism of The Market Kitchen, a pan-Asian restaurant with bustling live stations that brought me the most satisfaction," says chef Jay.
Of his experience working with Four Seasons, Chef Jay says that unlike other hotels there is a bonding that is unique to this brand. It is this sense of family that brings him to Chiang Mai. “I am excited about my first stint in a luxury resort. Chiang Mai is the heart of culture and tradition in Thailand – this resonates with me, more than anything else.”