Nationally celebrated, Kevin Tien oversees culinary operations at InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf, as the new Executive Chef at the helm of his modern Vietnamese restaurant, Moon Rabbit. Tien was born to a military family and spent his childhood and early life in Louisiana. He was educated at both the University of Louisiana and Louisiana State University. Growing up Tien also spent time living in many waterfront destinations around the country such as Seattle, Wash., Hawaii, and Galveston, Texas. He infuses this cultural awareness of regional American ingredients into his cooking style and techniques today. His recipes speak to his past, aspirational future and current state – a continuous evolution. Tien spent time at Kaz and José Andrés’ Oyamel, before rising to a coveted sous chef position at Momofuku CCDC. During this time Tien says he learned from those who were most impactful and influential on his career, both Chef Jose Andrés and Chef Mark Gears. After nearly a year at Momofuku, Tien began dreaming of opening his own restaurant, a space where he could showcase his culinary vision. Tien opened that space with Himitsu in late 2016, alongside Carlie Steiner, and the unique culinary experience received near immediate acclaim, including earning Eater DC’s “Restaurant of the Year,” accolade in 2017. Most recently, Tien was Executive Chef at Emelie’s, where Washingtonian magazine recognized him as one of “Ten Young Chefs Shaping Washington’s Dining Future.” The communal dining concept was one of the most high-profile restaurants to open in D.C. in recent years and in 2020, achieved the 25th position on the publication’s “100 Very Best Restaurants,” list. In 2019, Tien opened Hot Lola’s at the Quarter Market food hall in Arlington, VA, where his Sichuan x Nashville hot chicken sandwiches continue to surprise andsatisfy throngs of hungry diners. Tien’s dining room at Moon Rabbit serves as a canvas for his life experience and heritage—which inspire his cooking and creative culinary spirit today.
Awards & Press
- Food & Wine Best New Chef