Rising Star Chef Heong Soon Park of Chan - Biography

Seattle, WA

October 2019

Spending his formative years moving around the world —from South Korea to Malaysia and Switzerland—Heong Soon Park absorbed a global perspective growing up. But one important Korean cultural value stuck with Park and would inform his career as a chef and restaurateur: provide a better future for your children.

Park got his initial exposure to the industry working at his family’s restaurants in Anchorage, Alaska, where he also attended business school. In 2008, Park and his wife Han moved to Seattle, fell in love with Pike Place Market, and found a small space to open their first restaurant, Bacco CafĂ©. Park began working in the kitchen day in and day out, and attended culinary classes at the Art Institute of Seattle.

After getting comfortable with Bacco, the duo took several trips to Korea for inspiration for restaurant number two. Chan opened in 2012 as an homage to Park’s Korean heritage, and after the gastropub received critical acclaim from the local critics, Park got hungry for a third restaurant—this time with sustainability at its heart. He purchased a space and leased farmland in Woodinville, Washington, in 2013 and opened Tray Kitchen (now closed) in 2014. Ninety percent of the produce for his restaurants comes from the farm that the Park clan helps tend and maintain. In 2015, Park won a StarChefs Rising Star Sustainability award for his work.