EDMONDS, Wash. — The kitchen was quiet Monday at Market Fishmonger & Eatery in Edmonds, as news that beloved chef Hans Korompis is missing and presumed dead hung heavily in the air.
Last week, Korompis was scuba diving with a friend off the shore of Mukilteo when he was apparently caught in a deep current and swept away.
"Hans has left a huge, empty void in our hearts, and we'll probably forever be that way," said restaurant owner Shubert Ho.
Rescue crews searched for two full days but still have not been able to locate his body.
"I was absolutely devastated and sad," said Ho. "I kept hoping for the best that they would find him."
Korompis started his career cooking for renowned Seattle chef Tom Douglas before becoming the head chef at Shubert Ho's Market restaurant.
Ho said he built the entire restaurant and menu around Korompis' specific talents.
Korompis lived in a multi-generational household with his two brothers and parents, whom he helped support. He helped them buy the home they all shared.
"He embodied the success of the Asian-American immigrant dream," said Ho. "He came from Singapore with his family. He worked his way up, and he's basically someone we put in charge of an entire brand. He was very special."
At just 32 years old, Korompis still had so much in front of him.
Well respected in western Washington's culinary community, Ho said Korompis' food was great, but his heart was even greater.
His friends and family are left with a loss they will mourn for the rest of their lives.
"They've never been through this before, and honestly, I haven't either," said Ho. "So, we're all navigating this together, and we're helping each other out."
Korompis' diving partner survived the ordeal.
A GoFundMe has been established for the Korompis family.