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Meet Chef Yia Vang


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Yia Vang Bio

Yia Vang was born in a refugee camp in Thailand and his father and mother moved their family to the US in 1988.

He is the founder of Union Hmong Kitchen, a Twin Cities-based Hmong pop-up restaurant that is now currently doing a residency at Sociable Cider Werks. He is passionate about making the food he grew up with more accessible to non-Hmongs, while also passing traditions down to the next generation of Hmong Americans.

While working in some of the foremost kitchens of Minneapolis he began to find his own voice in showcasing Hmong food. His belief is that Hmong food isn’t a type of food but it’s a philosophy of food. Hmong food is not defined by its product. It’s defined by its process. He believes that the melding of many cultures plays a role in the cultural DNA of the Hmong people.

 "Our history is intrinsically woven into the food we eat," he says. "Every dish has a narrative, and if you follow that narrative closely enough, you understand the people." Yia also brings flavor, fire, and a passion for storytelling through food.