Millions of people struggle to pursue the American Dream only to realize that it isn’t as easy as it looks on TV. Yet people like Chef Raymond Li move past all barriers to create a career and name for themselves despite overwhelming odds. Today, the top-level Miami foodpreneur is pretty much a household name in the Florida area and has become synonymous with fantastic food.
Raymond Li is a chef and entrepreneur who grew up in Miami, Florida. From a young age, he was fascinated by the life of plenty. “The fast life and lavish lifestyle always called my attention from a young age,” shares Raymond. “I was attracted to easy money and which frankly led me down the wrong path.”
Unfortunately, Li would get tangled up in a drive-by shooting incident that would lead him to prison. He spent one year locked up from 2008 and 2009. Upon his release, Raymond was determined to turn a new leaf and start over.
Dedicated to making a better life for himself, Raymond studied culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu. He graduated in 2013 and started to work in 5-star restaurants and Michelin star establishments. The years of exposure would bring him more than opportunity. It brought him a strong sense of fulfillment. Still, he remained hungry for more growth and development. Some of the prestige restaurants he worked with include The Ritz Carlton, Matador Room by Jean-Georges, Benu in San Francisco, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, El Cielo DC & Miami, and Palmar, to name a few.
After becoming the Executive Chef in Palmar, Raymond Li received the honor of leading the restaurant into the Bon Appetit list of the fifty best restaurants in the United States. He would also receive the highest rating—four stars—with the Miami Herald in his first year as executive chef.
Raymond Li is no stranger to challenges, but he maintains that those experiences built him to be the chef he is now. He owes all his success to his passion for cooking. “The kitchen saved my life,” he explains. “It allowed me to pave the way for myself regardless of my past tribulations. It has not been easy, and it doesn’t happen often.”Lately, Raymond joined Lost Boy and Co and was appointed executive chef to lead a new full-service restaurant called Tropezon in Espańola Way, South Beach.
To this day, Raymond still remains ambitious. His goal is to open restaurants across the globe. Li also has plans of creating retail food products revolving around some of his family recipes and even having a cooking show with his son. Raymond is a testimony of the power of passion and dedication to something that brings meaning to life. He hopes to inspire more people with his story through food. He hopes more people can discover a craft or passion that would turn their lives around, just like cooking did for him. Learn more about Raymond Li by visiting Li’s Dim Sum’s website.