Dad, son team up for TikTok series on turning everyday food into gourmet eats

This popular TikTok series is elevating fast food into culinary masterpieces.

Video byEvan Wyno
April 12, 2024, 6:30 PM

An "Iron Chef" dad and his son are teaming up to transform everyday food into gourmet masterpieces.

Canadian celebrity chef Susur Lee and his son Jet Bent-Lee, a content creator, are making waves on TikTok. They are turning everyday foods, from frozen waffles to PB&J, into gourmet delights with high-end techniques and ingredients found in home kitchens.

The Toronto-based pair combine their cooking skills and content creation expertise to entertain their 6.2 million followers on TikTok.

In an interview with "Good Morning America," Bent-Lee, 26, said the duo cooked up the series during the pandemic, a period that closed restaurants and increased global interest in cooking at home. Their videos usually begin with Bent-Lee saying, "'Hey dad? Think you can turn my frozen waffles (or insert featured food) gourmet?'"

PHOTO: Chef Susur Lee with his son, Jet Bent-Lee.
Chef Susur Lee with his son, Jet Bent-Lee.
Jet Bent-Lee/Taran Sodhi

"The first one was super spur of the moment and then people really loved it," Bent-Lee said.

"At first it's just like really scratching my head because I did not understand the entertaining value," Lee said. "Then I started to understand ... OK people like to watch it. They don't really need to taste it, but I know it still tastes good, but I wanted to show that side of me that I can actually be an entertainer."

Lee, originally from Hong Kong and a celebrated chef in Toronto and Asia, sees this project as an opportunity to connect with a younger audience.

"It has brought me to the new generation," Lee, 65, said. "They kind of understand there is something, you know, wisdom that they can learn from me passionately and also family values."

The videos often regularly receive millions of views on TikTok where fans are drawn to the culinary transformation and their father-son interactions.

"My initial reaction to people loving the videos was a lot of happiness for not only myself but also my dad, who's worked so hard and for so long," Bent-Lee said, adding that he "never really showed his talent on social media."

Their approach to cooking is deeply rooted in Lee's background, blending traditional Cantonese elements with modern flair. He said his background, growing up in Hong Kong, instilled family as his "core value," Lee said.

Their father-son collaboration and getting to work together creatively have also strengthened their bond.

"Growing up, my dad was working so hard, so much. Honestly, I didn't see much of him when he was working in the restaurant in my early years and now we work together almost every day," Bent-Lee said.

"Almost too much," Lee joked.

"It's been nothing but positive for us," Bent-Lee added.