The Damian Lee Story: From Cancer, To Mr Lee’s Pure Food.

Today, we tell the remarkable story of Damien Lee, who created Mr Lee’s Pure Food, following a devastating and life-changing terminal cancer diagnosis, in 2014.

After growing up in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, and after a healthy dose of worldwide travel, Damien Lee decided to settle in the United Kingdom in 2014. Shortly after, he was diagnosed with a late-stage Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, an aggressive form of cancer that originates in the lymphatic system, with a prognosis of just weeks to live. 

Although understandably devastated, Damien (who was a single parent at the time) made a promise to himself: he would fight, to be around for his two young sons. Being a firm believer in ‘you are what you eat,’ Damien immediately took all of the nasties out of his diet. However, this also meant that his favourite snack, instant noodles, had to go, because they were full of salt, sugars, e-numbers, and artificial preservatives.

However, Damien saw this as an opportunity, so he made another promise to himself: he would fight cancer, and when he got better, he would create a new business: producing the world’s healthiest instant noodles.

Now, Mr Lee’s Noodles is a worldwide, award-winning brand, with six premium instant rice noodles, two instant congees, three instant porridges, and a newly-launched range of three instant ramen noodles, all of which are made using authentic recipes, the finest ingredients, low-sugar, no nasties, and there’s gluten-free and vegan options, too.

Prior to launching his noodle business, Damien had built many companies from the ground up, including a marketing business, food and beverage venues, a financial markets head-hunting company, an international security company, and a maritime satellite communications business.

His most recent project, Mr Lee’s Cookbook, went on sale in March 2021, incorporating 101 healthy and delicious noodle recipes for healthy eating. Some of the recipes include Hong Kong Street Beef, and Lobster Laksa Curry.

Sadly, in mid-2017, Damien was once again diagnosed with cancer. However, this time it was throat and neck cancer. Despite recovering, it came back again in late 2018. 

And after undergoing further treatments, Damien sadly passed away in January 2021 whilst fighting his 5th diagnosis, but his fabulous brand Mr Lee’s Pure Foods will continue on his mission to help people to eat healthier food.

Related Products

Mr Lee’s latest range includes three delicious flavours:

  • Krazy About Katsu,
  • Kicking Korean Beef,
  • And Golden Veggie Curry (vegan).

The products are made with authentic Asian-style flavours, 100% real chunks of meats, real veggies, all natural ingredients, they’re low in sugar and saturated fats, and as always, there’s no nasties. Also, the noodles are ready in just four minutes, after adding hot water.

This is the third product launch since Damien passed away. However, his passion for the healthy food industry lives on, through the expansion of the Mr Lee’s product line.

Ramen is a traditional noodle dish that’s been popular since the 1600’s, and it was a firm favourite of Damien’s, as Andy Chu, the current Executive Chef at Mr Lee’s Pure Foods explains: “Ramen is a staple in Asian cuisine. It’s been a popular street food in Japan since the 1950’s, and it’s such an important addition to the Mr Lee’s range,” he said.

Damien and I worked on these Ramen recipes together, making sure that we had that the all-important authentic heritage, whilst still being a quick and healthy way to eat a snack or meal that packs a punch, flavour-wise. That’s why we went with these three flavours. The vegan-friendly Golden Veggie Curry has a really warm and well-rounded taste, whilst still being protein rich, and the Kicking Korean Beef does exactly that: it kicks,” said Andy.

And we just HAD to include a katsu. It’s such a special and unique flavour, and there are so many of us (me included!) who are really Krazy about Katsu,” concluded Andy.

Damien was a winner of multiple awards including the Gold “Stevie” International Business Awards 2020, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2019, the 2018 The Sunday Times Maserati “Top 100 innovators,” and a finalist for the Amazon Growing Business Awards 2016.

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