A new restaurant from highly decorated, three-Michelin-star chef Corey Lee —Benu, Monsieur Benjamin — will be situated on the ground floor of the new SFMOMA. So, with a nod to "what a museum does," Lee wants to do something restaurants don't ordinarily do, or more accurately, acknowledge that they do: copy.
“I’m thinking of it as a food exhibition," Lee tells WSJ magazine in a lengthy profile and preview of the upcoming restaurant at the still under construction museum, dubbed In Situ.
Hey, it's only stealing if you don't say where it's from or try to pass it off as your own! And Lee will be giving credit where its due — and, for that matter, royalties, or passing those on to the museum or a charity of each chef's choice.
"No matter what time of year you visit,” Lee says, “you’ll get a cross section of what’s going on around the world both geographically and stylistically.”
And, best of all perhaps, Lee sounds really excited: “I feel like I’m 20 again, looking up to all these great chefs, wanting to stage in their kitchens.”
As Eater catalogues the dishes and chefs Lee is looking to, for which he's even consulting videotapes and weighing out each individual ingredient: "There will be black tie scallops from New York City’s Daniel Boulud, ceviche from Peru’s Gaston Acurio, shrimp and grits from NYC’s Wylie Dufresne, dishes from Daniel Patterson, René Redzepi, Thomas Keller, Alice Waters and more."
“Five years ago, I made the decision to tune out international trends, to stay away from cooking conferences and events, all to create an identity for Benu that isn’t easily identifiable,” Lee said. “Now it’s the opposite. It’s all about immersion, building relationships and working with chefs from around the world in a deep and lasting way.”