The newest innovation in local food: a must-see conversation at MinnPost Festival

20 July 2023

On Sept. 22-23, MinnPost Festival will bring can’t-miss conversations with national and local guests exploring a range of issues surrounding civic life in this moment.

Today, we’re spotlighting one of our featured panels sessions, Third-Culture Cuisine in Minnesota. The session will feature local chefs Yia Vang and Jorge Guzmán in a conversation moderated by Stephanie March, food & dining editor at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. What happens when chefs weave together the recipes of their immigrant heritage and the food of Minnesota culture? The result goes beyond fusion and into something much more personal and authentic, and it’s driving the newest innovations in the local food scene.

TV personality and highly decorated chef Yia Vang is the owner/chef of the James Beard-nominated restaurant Union Hmong Kitchen in Minneapolis. 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, slated to open in 2024 in Minneapolis.

Jorge Guzmán, a Yucatán native, is the chef/owner of Petite León an award-winning restaurant in the heart of the Kingfield neighborhood of Minneapolis and the owner of Pollo Pollo al Carbon, a popular pop-up restaurant. Guzmán is a three-time finalist for The James Beard’s “Best Chef Midwest,” has earned “Chef of the Year” by local media, a Food & Wine Top 10 Restaurant of the Year and has made the list of “50 restaurants we’re most excited about” from the New York Times.

This panel will be moderated by Stephanie March, food & dining editor at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. The session is on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 1:20 p.m.

Interested in the VIP experience?

The only way to guarantee access to Third-Culture Cuisine in Minnesota is to become a Festival VIP supporter. VIP packages take you deeper into the Festival conversations and include an array of special perks and benefits. VIP packages include full access to all of the sessions on Saturday, Sept. 23 as well as tickets to the keynote session and reception with Samantha Bee on Friday night.

Learn more about VIP packages >>

The only other way to get into this panel (on a first-come, first-served basis) is to purchase an All-Access Festival Pass. Passes are $85, with discounts available for MinnPost members, students, educators and nonprofit and government professionals. Free passes are also available, but do not include access to paid sessions. To be eligible for the MinnPost member discount, become a member today. (If you’re already a member and need the discount code, email us at [email protected].)

No matter how you register, you’re supporting MinnPost’s nonprofit newsroom and keeping our in-depth local coverage freely available to our community — no paywall, no subscriptions.

We’re still adding guests to the lineup, but in addition to Yia Vang, Jorge Guzmán and Stephanie March, we have confirmed so far:

Samantha Bee, television host, comedian and commentator (paid session)
Gov. Tim Walz, 41st governor of Minnesota (free session)
Sen. Tina Smith, Minnesota’s junior U.S. senator (free session)
Sheletta Brundidge, entrepreneur, comedian, author and activist (free session)
Houston White Jr., entrepreneur, designer and community leader (free session)
Nancy Lyons, CEO & co-founder of Clockwork (paid session)
Anissa Keyes, entrepreneur, therapist and yoga instructor (free session)

We hope you’ll join us for this year’s edition of MinnPost Festival. Be sure to watch for more additions to the lineup and check out all the details at

Thanks to our Festival Sponsors!

Presenting Sponsors

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