Korean Feast with Soju & a Presentation on the Restaurant Business

October 3, 2016



Sophia Lee

Founder and President of miss Korea

Sophia Lee is the Founder and President of miss Korea, a Korean BBQ restaurant in K-Town, Manhattan.

Ms. Lee was born in Seoul Korea, has a masters degree in education and was an elementary school teacher for 23 years.  In 1999, she joined her husband in the United States. Shortly after Ms. Lee arrived in NY, she and her husband opened a "one hour photo shop" in midtown.

In 2002, she opened her first restaurant in New Jersey, called SinSun-Sullongtang. Its menu was famed for the ox-bone soup, Sul-Long-Tang. With the success of the first restaurant in 2006, she opened a second restaurant named Shanghai Mong, an Asian Fusion Chinese Korean restaurant in K-town Manhattan. In 2009 she created her third restaurant, Haru Hana, a Japanese restaurant, also in K-Town. In 2010, she opened her forth restaurant, miss Korea, a Korean BBQ style restaurant. Today, Ms. Lee is focusing on managing and growing miss Korea.

Ms. Lee states that “happiness comes with delicious food at a great place” which is the mantra she follows in all her restaurants.  She sees food and ambience as a way of promoting Korean culture.

Ms.Lee has been featured in various Korean magazines and newspapers, including Joongang Daily magazine,  one of Korea’s top women’s magazine which covers Korean, international and fashion news.

Andrew Rigie

Executive Director, the New York City Hospitality Alliance

Andrew Rigie is the Executive Director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, a trade association formed in 2012 to foster the growth and vitality of the industry that has made New York City the Hospitality Capital of the World. 

Growing up working at his family’s fourth generation bakery & cafe in Queens, NY, Andrew was destined for a career in the hospitality industry. He later “got his apron dirty” by working multiple positions within the industry, before joining the New York State Restaurant Association (NYSRA) in 2004.  

At NYSRA he recruited and served members by providing a myriad of resources and consulting services to NYC’s restaurant operators, chefs and industry providers.  In 2009, Andrew took the helm as Executive Vice President of the New York City operations for the 75+ year old organization.

In 2012, Rigie accepted a position to launch the independent NYC Hospitality Alliance, which is quickly growing into the premier organization representing all facets of this diverse industry: restaurants, bars, lounges, destination hotels and major industry suppliers.  In addition to his executive duties, he serves on multiple committees relating to hospitality, he is a vocal industry advocate and recognized commentator for local, national and international media inquiries relating to New York City’s hospitality industry. Later in 2012, City & State listed Rigie on their 40 Under 40 list of Rising Stars “New York City’s Next Generation of Political Leaders”.

Andrew Rigie is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education, New York, NY



Leiti Hsu

Co-founder of Journy (www.gojourny.com) and Founder/Editor of Word of Mouth

Food connector and show host Leiti Hsu created Journy (gojourny.com), a custom travel concierge service that plans your perfect trip starting at the radical price of $15/day, now Top 10 in travel planning in the App Store. She's also founder and editor of the email magazine WORD of MOUTH (wordofmouth.fm), the neverending hunt for the best, newest deliciousness globally. It grew out of her weekly live radio show Heritage Radio Network by the same name and will reach 200,000 readers in its first year.

From olive picking in Tuscany to pintxos in San Sebastian to street eats in Taiwan, Leiti's your gal. NYC and LA-based, she connects food folks and big brands and has helped to launch several hospitality tech companies. Clients have included Twitter, BMW MINI, Unilever, Cover, Sosh, Thrillist and Plated.

A regular speaker, interviewer and event host in food, wine, spirits, tech, travel, luxury, millennials and restaurants, you can find her writings in Town & Country.



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