The Korean word ‘Bansang’ refers to the style of table setting for the kings and nobles of Joseon, a Korean dynastic kingdom that prospered for more than five centuries. At Bansang Restaurant, we wish to serve all of our guests with the same care and sincerity as the chefs did for their royalty in those times past.
Korean fare is built around enjoying various distinctive types of dishes simultaneously rather than in separate courses, as this allows every person to experience continuously changing flavor combinations unique to Korean culture. Our guests can expect a modern, creative perspective on this traditional style of Korean cuisine.
Chef – Ethan Min
Chef Ethan has had an incredible passion for the culinary arts ever since he could remember. That innate desire led him to attend a culinary high school and eventually to the prestigious Woosong University, where he furthered his education. After graduating, Chef Ethan relocated to the gastronomical heart of and center of South Korea, Seoul. There, his professional cooking career began its long-awaited journey in the illustrious, eminent kitchen of Gaon, one of only two three Michelin star restaurants in all of South Korea. During his tenure at Gaon, Chef Ethan was tasked with a number of responsibilities crucial to the success of the restaurant. He developed and refined the various types of kimchi and honed in on perfecting the fermentation process found in many specialty Korean food products. Over time, his tastes began to expand, and his ambition slowly turned to the west. Chef Ethan found a desire for cultural diversity and the innumerable worldly cuisines that he had yet to truly discover. San Francisco was the city that called to him. His journey took him to work in renowned restaurants like Saison and Atelier Crenn, where, not only did he encompass western cuisine into his toolkit, but also how to carefully meld both the west and east into groundbreaking amalgamations. Chef Ethan’s years of honing skills and acquiring knowledge have brought him to San Francisco’s prominent Korean restaurant, Bansang, where he strives to continually break the boundaries of traditional Korean cuisine and forge a path of his own.
Chef – Jin Lim
Chef Jin was born and raised in the small port city of Pohang, South Korea. His earliest childhood memories were filled with the abundance of seafood surrounding him daily. This constant exposure to outstanding seafood drove him to harness and master his own cooking skills. Chef Jin attended the esteemed culinary institution, Woosong University in Daejeon where his love of cooking blossomed. Upon graduating, he knew immediately that San Francisco was where he wanted to cut his teeth. Not only was there an abundance of the most prestigious restaurants in the world, but it reminded him of home. Chef Jin’s first stop was cooking at the kitchen of the distinguished Michael Mina, where he began to incorporate fresh new ingredients and techniques from French-Japanese fusion cuisine. His journey continued and grew as his motivation found him in the local traditional Japanese institution, Kabuto Sushi. Chef Jin’s three-year stay at Kabuto Sushi eventually led him to the Michelin starred Kaiseki restaurant Kinjo where he fulfilled many of his cooking aspirations. But something inside urged him to come back to his Korean roots and create a fresh new take on his culinary upbringing to the American audience. Something of his own design. That something can be found at Bansang, where Chef Jin passionately works to use all of his time-tested skills and provide an incredible dining experience night after night.
Story of the two chefs
Chef Ethan and Chef Jin are both alumni of Woosong University, the most prestigious culinary school in South Korea. Upon graduating from university, the two chefs went on their own journeys, confidently honing their own unique interpretations of their craft. Their long and storied paths, along with a shared, deep desire to learn and experience working in kitchens of diverse cuisines, led both chefs to San Francisco. After many years of working in the most respected kitchens in the city, the two chefs are now reunited and opening a new chapter in their lives through their harmonious passion for bringing new Korean dishes to San Francisco.