Page 13

cuisine will need to be authentic and not overly adventurous, possibly scaring away customers. Chefs help ground the cuisine and keep the restaurants cozy and approachable.

Chiko’s background Chiko’s founding partners are Scott Drewno, Danny Lee and Drew Kim, of Matchbox fame. Last year, Kim was dispatched to open the West Coast restaurant. Drewno cut his culinary teeth at The Source by Wolfgang Puck and other top destinations, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Vong and Stephen Hansen’s Ruby Foo’s. From such an unassuming leader, the culinary resume is to die for. Together, the partners form the Fried Rice Collective. Lee needs no introduction: He was brought up in his family’s food businesses in Metro D.C., including restaurant Charlie Chiang Kwai, where he learned the management side of the food business. His mother opened the Mandu restaurants, and played a significant role in his restaurant training. Mandu has been a longrunning best Korean restaurant. Lee has also worked at Oceanaire. Danny Lee and the Fried Rice Collective will open a Korean pub, Anju, during winter 2019, according to Washingtonian Magazine. Kim was a partner at Matchbox Restaurant Group, which became a multi-unit concept with the opening of Ted’s Bulletin. Chiko

Gerald Addison and Chris Morgan (Compass Rose and Maydan, Washington, D.C.) headlined a Chiko After Dark event. Photo by Chiko.

is Kim’s renaissance after closing his own chapter with Matchbox Restaurant Group, and with his co-founding Matchbox restaurant partners there. Matchbox went on to be guided by restaurant management company Thompson Hospitality, after it invested a major stake in the company in July. Kim’s expertise in branding and entrepreneurship should serve Chiko well, as the chain looks to expand methodically outside of the D.C. region to strike a unique palette wherever it goes. By operating concurrently on the West and East Coasts, the restaurant partners are taking a page from chains that D.C. residents know all too well: Cava and sweetgreen. Urban enclaves on both coasts are ideal testing grounds, and provide plenty of finicky diners, today’s version of the “taste panel.”

A respect for provenance and sustainability. A nod to family and community. “The world is changing more and more and people care about how their animals are being treated—where their food is grown, and who the farmer is,” said Drewno at MetroCooking DC, a popular cooking and demonstration show series that comes to D.C. annually. “We’re kind of active with the James Beard Foundation… I’ve sat on some of their panels on traceability and sustainability.” Increasingly, restaurants are approaching ingredients with respect, and chefs can drive that forward. Chefs and entrepreneurs are responding to consumers’ desire to want more from their food. MetroCooking DC wasn’t just the stage for a cooking demonstration, but rather a representation of a much larger stage that Chiko’s partners are headed for. Chefs Lee and Drewno are very personable and family-oriented culinary visionaries. Part of these infectious personality traits are passed on to the crew and culture of Chiko, and will hopefully be maintained as the chain grows beyond its three restaurant units. There’s no shortage of talent in the nation’s capital and those who are recognized are the best of the best. The Restaurant Association RESTAURANT C-SUITE 13

Profile for Eatery Pulse Media

Restaurant C-Suite Magazine | Spring 2019  

As Restaurant C-Suite Magazine is a trend-based news source, we continue to dive deeper into 2019 trends in this issue, including zero waste...

Restaurant C-Suite Magazine | Spring 2019  

As Restaurant C-Suite Magazine is a trend-based news source, we continue to dive deeper into 2019 trends in this issue, including zero waste...