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Ulterior Epicure, Now Unmasked, Pays For All Those Crazy Meals Himself [Updated]

Those lips were what he's been using as an avatar all this time.
Those lips were what he’s been using as an avatar all this time. Photo: Courtesy of Bonjwing Lee/Ulterior Epicure

Yesterday an anonymous blogger by the name of The Ulterior Epicure, known to the food cognoscenti for his ridiculously enviable international food travels and pretty photos, was finally unmasked. Kansas City resident Bonjwing Lee decided to come out of the internet closet, as it were, and gave an interview to Eater National about his life and highly caloric travel schedule. (Naturally, he was in Germany at the time of the interview, and had just come from a whirlwind eating tour of Michelin-starred restaurants in Switzerland, Monte Carlo, and Italy … kind of makes you a little sick, right?) Grub Street reached out to him to see if he was headed back to the States anytime soon to, say, document a 25-course meal at Manresa, or similar. And he is!

“I’ll be in the Bay Area in a week, actually,” he says, but won’t yet tell us where he’s made reservations.

He attributes his passion for food to growing up Asian-American. “I think that has something to do with it,” he says. “I grew up in Kansas City in an Asian-American family. My parents and grandparents always cooked very traditional Chinese food. But growing up in the midwest is pretty odd … I also traveled a lot as a child, so I saw a lot of different cultural cuisines.”

As for how he affords to do all this traveling — something many a reader has speculated about for years — having been but a law student and then a practicing lawyer since starting the blog in 2005, we’re going to throw out a wild guess here: family money. We always assumed he had to have some kind of travel-heavy job with an amazing expense budget, but no. “I hardly traveled for work as a lawyer — most of it was just personal time off,” he tells us.

Well, at least he has his priorities straight. But yeah, MUST BE NICE.

Update: Mr. Lee tweets back at us, “It’s not family money. I was raised comfy, but not spoiled. No trust fund. Just different priorities.” Maybe rent is just super cheap in Kansas City? [Ulterior Epicure/Twitter]

The Ulterior Epicure Finally Reveals His Identity
[Eater National]
Earlier: A 25-Course Meal at Manresa, Illustrated

Ulterior Epicure, Now Unmasked, Pays For All Those Crazy Meals Himself [Updated]