Chef Tai Lee

Born in Seoul, South Korea and moved to the States at the age of 13.

 Chef Tai moved to College Station in 1998 to attend Texas A&M University. Tai graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business with Finance Major.

 While attending school, Chef Tai was working at a local restaurant and realized that he had a true passion for the restaurant business. Despite huge opposition from family members, Tai decided to pursue a career in culinary arts by apprenticing under various chefs and restaurants.  Ultimately, he opened Veritas Wine & Bistro in College Station with his partners Mike & Mary O’Brien in 2007.

 Veritas was the culmination of Tai’s passion for food and Mike & Mary’s passion for wine. Since its opening in 2007, it has garnered various awards for distinguishing itself as a restaurant with great emphasis on wines.   Chef Tai sources many seasonal and artisan ingredients across America to bring a unique dining experience to the local scene.

 Tai’s most recent project is the Gourmet Food Truck, which started out in California. Tai was the early adopter of this concept in Bryan/College Station and was ultimately named “America’s Favorite Food Truck” by the Food Network in 2011 through a nationwide vote.

 Chef Tai focuses on offering gourmet food made with quality & wholesome ingredients to more people at an affordable price point.

 Tai is married to Christina Cho, who is also working at Veritas as the manager/wine steward, and they have a one year old son.

Walnut Crusted Trout with Mango Salsa

“We have created this recipe by incorporating ingredients that are known to help people with CF.  We hope this recipe will lift your spirit and help you nourish your body.”  Chef Tai

Salsa:

1 mango, pitted and diced

1 jalapeno pepper, diced with seeds removed

2 Tbsp lime juice

1/3 large white onion, diced

4 roma tomatoes, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup chopped cilantro

plenty of salt and pepper to taste

Fish:

4 Trout fillets, about 6 oz each

2 Tbsp grapeseed oil + more as needed

1 cup Buttermilk

1 cup walnut, chopped finely

1 cup panko bread crumbs

2 Tbsp chopped parsley

2 Tbsp chopped basil

1 tsp salt + pinch

¼ tsp pepper + pinch

 

Mix all salsa ingredients together and toss. Set aside.

Heat oven to  425 F. In a large bowl, mix walnut, bread crumbs, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper.

 Pour buttermilk into another bowl.

 Sprinkle both sides of each fish with  salt and pepper.

 Dredge fillets in buttermilk then set them in walnut mixture, pressing the mixture into the fillets.

 Heat oil in a OVEN SAFE pan over high heat. Lay fish, skin side up, in pan and sauté for about 3-4 minutes, or until browned. Turn the fish over and place the whole OVEN SAFE pan into the oven and bake for 3-4 minutes, or until fish is flaky.

Serve on a bed of prepared salsa!  You can always modify this dish by adding a sautéed spinach with red bell pepper or serve with avocado guacamole to twist things.