Meet Your Chef: Tee Vannopas of Yoshimi Pop-Up at Grand Hyatt Vail
Get to know your local Vail Valley chefs
Editor’s Note: The Vail Daily is showcasing area chefs in a new series called “Meet Your Chef” so you can learn a bit more about those creating art in the kitchen. If you’re a local chef and would like to be a part of this series please email Tricia Swenson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Sean Naylor (email@example.com).
Q: What is your name, where do you cook and what is your official title?
A: Tanapat Vannopas. Nickname “Tee”, head sushi chef at Grand Hyatt Vail.
Q: How long have you lived in the valley and what brought you here?
A: I have been in Vail since November of 2021. The opportunity of opening the Yoshimi Pop-Up at Grand Hyatt Vail brought me to the area.
Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to become a chef?
A: I was born in Bangkok, Thailand and grew up in a house where a lot of cooking happens. This is not unusual, as food is an important and inseparable part of Thai culture. My aunt cooked for our entire family and I learned so much about cooking from her. I began my culinary career in Australia in 1997, from then I knew I wanted to be a chef.
Q: Who has inspired you throughout your culinary journey?
A: Master Sushi Chef Abea San inspired me at the beginning of my career. He taught me a lot about sushi and inspired my passion for the art of sushi.
Q: What’s your favorite spice?
A: My favorite spice is pepper.
Q: Favorite protein?
A: Favorite proteins are beef and fish.
Q: Favorite fruits and veggies?
A: My favorite fruit is melon and favorite vegetable is lettuce.
Q: Name your carb: pasta, potatoes, rice, polenta, etc.?
A: Rice and noodles.
Q: What’s your favorite comfort food?
A: Thai basil dish and Japanese Katsu.
Q: Is there anything else about you we should share?
A: I have a passion for learning about cuisines of different cultures because it leads to learning new cooking techniques that I can apply in my cooking every day.