Cooking for Wellness Chef Series - Cooking Up Culture!


cooking up culture

Guest Chef - Yia Vang, Union Hmong Kitchen

Learn how to prepare a seasonal noodle & vegetable dish inspired and influenced by Mr. Vang's Hmong family and cultural traditions.

One of seven siblings, Chef Yia Vang was born in a Thai refugee camp where he lived until his family resettled in central Wisconsin. A trained chef who started his career working as a dishwasher, Chef Yia has cooked at Nighthawks, Borough, and Gavin Kaysen’s Spoon & Stable before starting Union Hmong KitchenYia uses food to tell a story and believes that every dish has a narrative. Through sourcing what’s in season and combining local traditions with those from his family and cultural traditions, Yia brings Hmong flavors to American palates and invites people to change how they think about food by considering the influences in each bite. Beginning October 23 and until his newest restaurant Vinai opens, you can find Yia’s food via Union Hmong Kitchen at Republic in the 7 Corners neighborhood of Minneapolis, for dine-in, take-out and catering through Vinai Gatherings.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - 11:30 am - 12:45 pm - Event has passed

Guest Chef - Brian Yazzie, Yazzie the Chef & Intertribal Foodways

Learn how to prepare Squash Puree w/Walleye and Wild Rice inspired and influenced by Chef Yazzie's cultural traditions.

Brian Yazzie aka Yazzie The Chef (Diné/Navajo) is a chef and food justice activist from Dennehotso, Arizona on the Navajo Nation and based out of Saint Paul, MN. He is a 2016 graduate of Saint Paul College Culinary Arts with an AAS Degree in Culinary Arts. He is the founder of Intertribal Foodways catering company, a YouTube creator under Yazzie The Chef TV, a delegate of Slow Food Turtle Island Association, and a member at I-Collective: a collective of cooks, chefs, seed keepers, farmers, foragers, and scholars, focused on bringing awareness to the cultural appropriations of Indigenous foods of the Americas. Yazzie’s career is devoted to the betterment of tribal communities, through wellness, and health. His TV and media appearances include Independent Lens, Alter-NATIVE and Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi on Hulu. Yazzie was recently appointed Executive Chef at Gatherings Café, located inside the Minneapolis American Indian Center and is currently working with other chefs and volunteers to deliver support to Native Elder communities within the Twin Cities during the pandemic. Yazzie is also part of a grassroots collective "Dennehotso Families Covid-19 Relief Project" which is focused on providing long-term supplies for families and elders in his hometown of Dennehotso, Arizone, which is located on the northeast part of the Navajo Nation. 

NOTE NEW TIME - Tuesday, December 1, 2020 - 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm - Register here

Guest Chef - Lachelle Cunningham, Healthy Roots Institute & The Good Acre

Learn to prepare globally inspired comfort food that nourishes the soul and comes from the culture and traditions of Chef Lachelle. 

Chef Lachelle has been a dynamic force on the Twin Cities’ food scene and is known for cooking globally inspired comfort food that thwarts unhealthy stereotypes and fuses in global flavors. She began her culinary career by launching Chelles’ Kitchen in 2012 and soon became known for her work as the founding Executive Chef of Breaking Bread Cafe (2015) in North Minneapolis, where she received many accolades for her food creativity and social justice work. In 2018, Chef Lachelle began building The Healthy Root Institute, with a mission focused on healing and social justice through food education, culinary arts and entrepreneurship. Through the Healthy Root Institute, Chef Lachelle curates cooking workshops and retreats, teaches culinary arts, food business classes and also provides human resources, menu development and operations consulting to local restaurants and food service establishments. Her greater vision is to grow the Healthy Roots Institute for greater capacity to impact people through food, culinary education and entrepreneurship. To learn more about where Chef Lachelle’s vision is headed, you can read this recent article in the Mpls/St. Paul Business Journal.

Chef Lachelle is also the Culinary Education Manager at The Good Acre where she has developed curriculum and is currently training food service staff from select Twin Cities public school on how to prepare healthy meals for students as a way to bolster the local Farm to School programs.

Monday, December 14, 2020 - 12:30pm - 1:45 pm - Register here

For questions or more information on these webinars, contact Robin Schow, Education Program Director of the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute, scho0040@umn.edu / 612-626-6425