Michael Lee
Michael Lee

Michael Lee


Edinburgh, Scotland. 


I was born in Edinburgh in 1982 and grew up on the outskirts of the city in a little mining village called Winchburgh, with my Mum, stepdad, my little brother, Fraser and our twin sisters, Abbie and Sophie. 

I trained as a fabricator/Welder and continued in the trade up until 2010. In 2005, I travelled to Australia on a one year working holiday visa and fell in love with the place. I did the back-packing thing, explored, met new people and did jobs I’d never done before. It was during this time I worked in a couple of commercial kitchens washing dishes and being the run-around. I loved the pressure and busyness of it all. At the time, I was 23 and had never cooked anything before, it fascinated me. I watched and asked questions and started getting involved in prep jobs, most of them very unglamorous! But I loved it. I worked in a Spanish restaurant in Broadbeach, QLD where I met my now wife of 7 years, Angelique. 

After my year in Australia, I returned to Scotland and immediately set myself the goal of moving back to Australia permanently. I went back to welding, saved and waited 2 years for my residency to be granted. I returned in 2009 and made my new home on the Gold Coast. I continued welding but became unhappy with what I was doing and decided I needed to change career. 

I’d fallen in love with cooking and decided I would quit my highly skilled, well-paid job and do my cheffing apprenticeship. I did my apprenticeship at The Star Casino (Jupiter’s at the time), graduated and worked there as a commis Chef up until 2015. 

I came to Peppers Salt Resort & Spa at Kingscliff as a Chef de Partie in the banquets team, looking after conferencing and weddings, before being promoted to Senior Chef de Partie after 6 months. 

It was during that time my wife gave birth to our beautiful twins River and Bonnie-Rose. When the Chef de Cuisine of Season Restaurant position became available I was delighted to be given the opportunity, my first Head Chef job in a well-established place, with a good reputation and high standard, it was daunting yet very exciting! 

How would you define your style? 

My style is fairly simple, flavour combinations that work with a few twists here and there. It’s also definitely nostalgic, a lot of the food/flavours I use remind me of my family and my childhood growing up with a Mum who hated cooking! 

What is your feature flavour these days?

Star anise, cardamom and apples. 

Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences: 

There are so many great Chefs it’s hard to choose; I love the style of many British Chefs. 

What do you love about this business? 

No two days are the same; it’s creative, hardworking, mentally challenging and fun. 

An ingredient you can’t live without? 


Most ‘eyebrow raising’ menu item? 

Probably the chocolate and beetroot brownie, with mandarin curd, honey and coriander (pictured). 

Signature dish: 

Scampi Tortellini: butter poached bug tail, bisque and lemon pangritata.



Season restaurant is one of the many highlights of a stay at Peppers Salt Resort and Spa at Kingscliff. Featuring the fine dining on which Season’s Chefs pride themselves, a gourmet menu – along with elegantly styled décor and warm, professional service – ensures an enjoyable, relaxed dining experience. Menus reflect the restaurant’s regional surrounds in a unique Modern Australian style, influenced by European, Asian and rustic flavours. Choose from a la carte selections such as scallop and elderflower carpaccio with cucumber, dill ash and fermented jalapeno, or lemon myrtle roast kangaroo loin, celeriac and macadamia custard, pumpkin, pickled blueberries, Cavalo Nero and rosella jus. Indulge in a Chef’s tasting experience, teamed with an array of locally produced wine, beer and spirits.

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