Drew Smith

kō•än  | Cary, NC

Starting in the restaurant industry in 2004, Drew knew immediately that hospitality was his calling. Working as a bartender in Chapel Hill, he saved enough money to travel. He and a friend went backpacking through southeast Asia for a few months.

The following summer, Drew moved to Saigon. Figuring out how to make the dishes of that culture became an obsession. He stumbled upon pho, a Vietnamese beef soup, and never looked back. 

Upon returning home, Drew started working at bu•ku in downtown Raleigh. He read, watched and experimented relentlessly. He quickly rose to the chef de cuisine role. After five years, Drew joined the team at Standard Foods and worked under chef and owner Scott Crawford.

In February 2016, he rejoined the bu•ku team and proceeded to open two restaurants in two years: so•ca in Cameron Village and bu•ku in Wake Forest. 

The next chapter brings him to Cary’s kō•än, where he can finally tell his story of those travels and those meals that changed his life.

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Drew is participating in the Fall Fête on the Green on Saturday, October 19.