Chef Baumann's Gastronomic Expedition from Copenhagen to Korea

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Observing Koan in its resplendent current form is truly captivating. Here's the backstory: Chef Kristian Baumann, formerly of the now-closed 108 in Copenhagen, has South Korean origins and was adopted into a Danish family at just four months old. Chef Baumann first made his mark in the culinary world at renowned establishments like Noma and Relæ. In 2020, he closed the chapter on his restaurant, 108. After 108's final bow, Baumann embarked on a journey back to his Korean heritage, leading to the birth of Koan.

Following 108's closure, Chef Baumann embraced his Korean heritage, inspiring the creation of Koan. The evolution of Koan spanned several years, initially emerging as a pop-up at Empirical Spirits' location before finding a permanent base in Copenhagen. Combining authenticity and a blend of Danish and Korean influences, Koan eventually carved out its own niche and was awarded two Michelin stars.

This journey represents a touching tale of reconnection and the peaceful merging of spirit, zest, and joy. For nearly ten years, Baumann has infused his innate Korean heritage into his culinary creations, exploring his roots, building connections, and expressing this bond through his food.

Danish mackerel with Norwegian scallops, citrus, wasabi and seaweed ⠀⠀
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Opening snacks with raw Norwegian shrimp wrapped in pickled roses, green pepper, danish courgette with fried anchovies, courgette flower cured trout and green chili, strawberry kimchi

Tofu seasoned with pine nuts, served with preserved strawberries and ossetra caviar ⠀⠀

rice cakes

The tableau before us is a harmonious blend of personal rediscovery and inspirations from Korean bazaars, grills, and sacred sanctuaries, from the intricately pleated mandu and zesty sorbet of Swedish kiwi touched with wasabi to the gamasot-influenced pot brimming with three rice variants, each adding its unique texture and fragrance, and the pristine kohlrabi kimchi.

Chef Baumann is profoundly influenced by his homeland sojourns and the very essence of freedom, weaving the delicate balance of Korean sweet, tart, umami nuances and the country's sublime aesthetics into each meal.

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Chef Baumann

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