How to Poach an Egg in 5 Minutes w/ Chef Ben Lee, A Voce (Video)

When eggs and bread combos are a topic of conversation, challah and several imaginative varieties of French Toast are top of mind. Until…

Enter A Voce’s Uovo, by Executive Chef Ben Lee.

Though we’re quite particular about our eggs – and of course we’ve become a bit picky over Italian food (this is New York, after all) – we’re 110% sure the 35-year old (with no less than 10 years of culinary chops) can scramble, boil and poach eggs to perfection. But enough of the basics – he’s going all out for this egg, bread, cheese and mushroom masterpiece.

Perhaps as awesome as a cheesesteak and as hip as Boyz II Men, Ben launched his career in Philly, working at Morimoto (Masaharu Morimoto’s restaurant) and LaCroix at the Rittenhouse (by Jean-Marie LaCroix) before meeting the Executive Chef and Partner of Verti Family Restaurant Group, Jeffery Michaud. Ben ventured to Bergamo, Italy, soon after, to work at Ristorante Loro – and he’s had a love for Italian food ever since.

Us, too – minus the trip overseas.

More amore, per favore.

Lee moved to Manhattan in 2010 (after returning for another stint in Philadelphia, at Osteria), and once in the big apple, he joined the Michelin-star restaurant Marea, with Michael White, where he focused on high-end costal Italian food, and became sous chef.

We’re pretty happy he’s made New York his home (sorry Philly, and Bergamo), because even though we’re dying to make a trip to the City of Brotherly Love, and take a vacation in Italy, it’s so much easier to cab it to Madison Square Park or Columbus Circle for a A+ meal.


  • 6 small square pieces of bread, about 2 inches high, with crust removed
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 lb. celery root, peel, thinly sliced
  • 1 pt cream
  • 1 pt milk
  • Water
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 pt cream
  • 1/4 cup of grated parmesan
  • 1 pt of seasonal mushrooms
  • 1/4 pt of champagne vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Shaved parmesan, fresh picked thyme leaves, cracked black pepper (for garnish)



  1. Bring water to a boil.
  2. Drop 6 eggs into boiling water for 5 minutes.
  3. Let the eggs cool in room temperature for about 5 minutes.
  4. Peel eggs.

Celery Root Crema:

  1. Add all but water in a small pot.
  2. Add enough water to cover the top surface of the celery root.
  3. Bring to a boil, then bring down to a simmer.
  4. Cover.
  5. Cook until celery root is tender.
  6. Add all into the blender.
  7. Blend on high.
  8. Add water if needed.
  9. Season with salt and pepper.

Parm Spooma

  1. Reduce all by 50% . Put into an ISI can and charge.

Pickled Mushrooms:

  1. Saute mushrooms with the garlic in olive oil.
  2. Deglaze with vinegar
  3. Let sit room temperature for 2 hours.


  1. Pan fry bread in clarified butter.
  2. Place a dollop of celery root crema in the bottom of a bowl.
  3. Place egg on top of toast.
  4. Place parm spooma on top of egg.
  5. Garnish with mushrooms, picked thyme leaves, and shaved parmesan.
  6. Finish with a small turn of fresh cracked black pepper.

Are you an Uovu fan? Prefer a fancy feast? Or do you eat your eggs in a typical fashion? Leave us your feedback in the comments below!

Want more tips and tricks from NYC Chefs? Head to our Guest Chef section for more videos!

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