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.