Staff Spotlight: Founder + Chef Lee Wallach

Lee Wallach first fell in love with restaurants as a 14-year-old dishwasher at an eatery in Bethany Beach, DE. By the time they let him chop some veggies, he was hooked. After graduating from George Washington University in 2008, Lee went right back to cooking, working at renowned restaurants in Napa, Miami and New York, with larger groups (Hillstone) and smaller operations (Freemans).

In 2013, he and his wife decided to relocate to Philly to be closer to family. Lee took the opportunity to reevaluate his future. While trying to figure out what was next, he took a temporary personal chef gig on the Main Line. You can probably guess the rest: He wound up loving the job and the family he was cooking for loved him right back. Next thing he knew, he had more requests from people in search of personal chef services than he did hours in the week, so he decided to scale up by cooking meals at his home, then delivering them to clients. Lee launched Home Appétit from the kitchen in his Center City apartment in 2014 with one sous chef (his mom) helping out. 

As business grew by word of month, he quickly moved to a shared commissary in West Philly and gained customers at a fast clip. Trained chefs replaced his mom, and drivers were hired. In 2020, Home Appétit moved into its own custom-built kitchen in Wynnefield Heights, and today the team cooks, packs and delivers thousands of meals each week. 

Lee’s cooking is greatly influenced by his time spent in California and New York, and by his mother’s Israeli heritage. He lives on the Main Line with his wife and three kids. He enjoys playing basketball and biking—which he hopes to do again once his kids are out of diapers.