EJ LeePastry Chef, Owner of EJ Baking Studio and Dessert Café, Seoul & Les vergers Boiron Brand Ambassador
E.J. Lee, aged 41, only began studying pastry when she was 23 because her parents didn’t want her to be a chef, so she took English and French literature at university. As an exchange student in Montreal, she discovered home baking and began to read cookery books and take lessons. Back in South Korea, she finished her degree and got an office job, but kept baking at home. She married and moved with her husband to Stockholm and went to London to study at the renowned Leiths School, where she learned the essentials that enabled her to progress. She got a part-time job at Ottolenghi in London, where she discovered “his distinctive style and processes” and adopted what she calls “London style desserts which are natural, convenient and not fussy”. Next, she went back to Stockholm where she worked with baking chef Magnus Johannsen and then returned to Seoul, where she baked for several shops and realized there was a need locally for improving knowledge of pastry techniques. She launched a series of Masterclasses in 2011 and then opened EJ Baking Studio and Dessert Café in 2014, with a shop on the ground floor and a school above, where she teaches eight courses. She has established a reputation for producing original macarons, millefeuilles and other pastries in a great variety of styles and colours. She is constantly coming up with new ideas, based on a delicate balance between soft and crunchy textures and sweet and sour tastes, where fruit plays a key role.
Early 2019, E.J.Lee just opened her second shop under the name “Owners Gram” in Shinsadong, Seoul, which focuses on authentic desserts such as canelés, macarons and gateaux de voyage. And today, despite her parents’ initial disapproval to become a pastry chef, they are among her biggest fans!