CHIKO is the first restaurant from The Fried Rice Collective. Chefs Danny Lee and Scott Drewno pair modern cooking techniques with traditional Chinese and Korean flavors, while Drew Kim provides his passion for hospitality ensuring a unique dining experience.
Andrew Kim began his hospitality career at the ripe age of 19 as a college sophomore in West Virginia, the state where he also grew up. What started as a part-time job to help pay his way through school turned into a launching pad for an entrepreneurial career path. From that small-town restaurant and bar, Andrew quickly learned he had a knack for managing people and operations, and opened several other small businesses within a few short years all before turning 25.
After getting a taste of the entrepreneurial life in West Virginia, Andrew went on to Chicago and later Saint Louis with his West Virginian business partners to operate nightclubs and further advance his knowledge in hospitality/service industry. The partnerships he created through that venture are what ultimately led him to Washington D.C. where, in 2002, he co-founded Matchbox Food Group and helped grow the company into what it is today – a 17 unit operation with approximately $60 million in annual sales.
One year after opening, Matchbox restaurant won the prestigious award of 2003 Best New Restaurant through Washingtonian. Andrew and his business partners went on to open multiple locations throughout the D.C. Metro area and one restaurant in Palm Springs, California. In 2010 they became a multi-concept group by opening Ted’s Bulletin, an upscale diner serving all day breakfast as well as lunch and dinner. Also DC-3, a gourmet hot dog fast-casual concept with a chef-driven menu collaborated by Matchbox Food Group’s executive chefs at the time. Ted’s Bulletin won Best Neighborhood Gathering Spot in 2011 and is known to draw visiting celebrities as well as former President Barack Obama.
In 2015 Matchbox Food Group won Ernst and Young Regional Entrepreneur of the Year award for their successful restaurant concepts, growth, culinary, and employer contributions to the greater Washington area. Today Matchbox restaurants are located in D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Texas and Florida.
Andrew’s strength is in his creative lens where he has led all aspects of design and branding for all his restaurant concepts. He is also an architect of culture, developing training guides, team building, management hiring, and mentoring. He is a master at relationship building – which helped Matchbox Food group raise millions of dollars for their expansion.
Musician, biologist and legal assistant are a few of the hats Danny Lee tried on before finding his perfect toque as Chef and Owner of Mandu, a traditional Korean restaurant in Washington, DC.
No stranger to the restaurant business, Lee’s mother, Yesoon Lee, also chef at Mandu, owned a sandwich shop in Old Town Alexandria, VA in the 1980s, and in the late ‘90s, a Charlie Chiang Kwai takeaway store at Reagan National Airport. It was at Charlie Chiang Kwai that Lee learned the basics of running a food establishment. He cemented his restaurant knowledge at Oceanaire, where he worked under Chef Rob Klink who trained him both on the managerial and culinary side of the food business.
In 2006, Lee and his mother decided to open their own restaurant, one that played to their strengths and represented their culinary traditions and culture. They opened Mandu’s first location near Dupont Circle in November 2006 and five years later, the second one in DC’s Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood.
Mandu has won “Best Korean” in the Washington City Paper annually since 2010 in addition to being featured in several local and national publications. Mandu was also recognized as a recommended restaurant in the Michelin Guide’s premier Washington, DC issue in 2016 and again in 2017. In the Fall of 2016, Lee and his mother were invited to London to showcase a Korean tasting menu for a two week Mandu residency at Carousel Restaurant.
In 2017, Lee started a new restaurant group with Andrew Kim and Chef Scott Drewno, called The Fried Rice Collective. The group’s first restaurant, CHIKO, opened in July of 2017 on Barrack’s Row in Washington, DC. CHIKO serves modern Chinese and Korean cuisine in a fun and casual environment.
CHIKO immediately garnered local and national interest upon opening, including being named one of Washingtonian Magazine’s Best New Restaurants of 2017 with a three star rating. The Washington Post also featured CHIKO in their 2017 Fall Dining Guide as one of the top ten restaurants in the city with the Post’s food critic, Tom Sietsema, giving CHIKO a rating of three stars. In 2018, CHIKO was a semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant in the country by the James Beard Award Foundation.
Lee has been featured in several national and local publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Men’s Health, Lucky Peach, Washington Post, Washingtonian, and many more.
Chef Scott Drewno was raised in the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes wine region, a rural area known for its vineyards and its family-owned farms. Watching his mother turn fresh, seasonal produce from local farm stands into bubbling pies and cobblers first piqued his interest in cooking and planted the seed for Drewno’s culinary ambition.
Drewno joined the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group in 1998. At Chinois, he learned to meld French cooking techniques with vibrant Asian flavors. At Spago, he came to understand the importance of beginning with only the finest ingredients. Drewno furthered his knowledge and solidified his passion for Asian cuisines at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Vong and Stephen Hansen’s Ruby Foo’s.
In 2007, Wolfgang Puck tapped Drewno as the opening Executive Chef of The Source. The restaurant was honored with numerous accolades including three-star reviews from both The Washington Post and Washingtonian Magazine. The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) awarded The Source “New Restaurant of the Year” in 2008 and “Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year” in 2011. Drewno received the coveted “Chef of the Year” prize in 2010 and again in 2016. In 2012 and 2013, Drewno was a semifinalist for the “Best Chef Mid-Atlantic” James Beard Award.
Drewno has won many culinary competitions benefiting important causes, including the DC Crab Cake Competition, Pig Out for Diabetes, and DC Central Kitchen’s Capital Food Fight. He won the Washington, DC leg of Cochon 555 (twice), a traveling culinary competition promoting sustainable farming of heritage breed pigs, and won the Cochon 555 Heritage Fire barbecue competition. Drewno serves on the Board of the RAMW, and is an Honorary Board Member of the DC Food & Beverage Collective. Each year, Drewno hosts fundraising events for DCFBC and the George Washington University Hospital Mobile Mammography Unit, two causes he holds near and dear to his heart.
In 2017 The Fried Rice Collective was formed with their first restaurant CHIKO, a Chinese-Korean, fine-casual concept. Zagat hailed the restaurant as one of “DC’s Most Important Restaurant Openings of 2017”. In 2018 the restaurant was nominated as a semifinalist for “Best New Restaurant” James Beard Award. Tom Sietsema (The Washington Post) recently gave CHIKO 3 stars (Excellent), stating “The latest definition of crack in Washington is the “orange-ish” chicken at CHIKO on Capitol Hill.” in 2018, CHIKO also received recognition through the Washingtonian for 100 Very Best Restaurants in DC and also received a 3 star rating for the new concept.