Han Oak: modern dishes from a Korean home

Based in Portland, Oregon, chef Peter Cho and his wife Sun Young Park host diners from their house, celebrating flavors from their childhoods.
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Growing up within the controlled chaos of the restaurant, Peter Cho and Sun Young Park's children, Frankie and Elliott, have become an integral part of the Han Oak story. They're well-known for their playful appearances during service, with the rest of their house only a few steps away from the restaurant floor.

This is the family's ode to the local community. Items like the disco ball have been kept as souvenirs from events hosted at the restaurant.

Peter was born in South Korea but raised in Eugene, Oregon. He started his career in food in New York and, while he isn't trained in Korean cooking, his dishes at Han Oak are rooted in traditional Korean flavors and the couple's upbringing in the US.

The couple's shelves are lined with an impressive collection of secondhand crockery, mostly salvaged from garage sales when Han Oak opened in 2016.

With a background in illustration, Sun Young is the creative drive behind Han Oak. ‘She's from LA, and grew up with a lot more Korean food and community, so we make sure she tastes whatever I or the team come up with,’ says Peter.

‘Throughout the pandemic, we've felt so fortunate to have our guests' love and care for our business and our family,’ says Peter.

This article was first published in 100 Ways to Make a Living 2021. To become a subscriber or purchase our newest guide, head to our webshop.

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