Yia Vang

Chef and Restaurateur


TV personality, and highly decorated chef Yia Vang is the owner/chef of the James Beard-nominated restaurant Union Hmong Kitchen in Minneapolis. Union Hmong Kitchen specializes in Hmong cuisine. Though Minnesota is home to the largest diaspora of Hmong people living outside Asia, no brick-and-mortar restaurant has been exclusively dedicated to Hmong cuisine until Yia and his team launched a crowdfunding campaign for Vinai, the Twin Cities’ first brick-and-mortar restaurant devoted to “the past, present, and future of Hmong cooking.” Vinai is named after one of the largest refugee camps in Thailand where Yia was born and where 90% of Hmong people ended up prior to moving to the Midwest after the Vietnam War. Vinai is slated to open in 2024 in Minneapolis.