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 ( and Sean Naylor (

Tanapat “Tee” Vannopas is leading the team at Yoshimi, a pop-up sushi restaurant in the Grand Hyatt Vail.
Grand Hyatt Vail/Courtesy photo

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.

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Vannopas grew up in Thailand and was influenced by his aunt, who used to cook for his entire family.
Grand Hyatt Vail/Courtesy photo

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.

New this winter season, Yoshimi Pop-Up invites sushi lovers to enjoy executive chef Pierson Shield’s collaboration with an internationally acclaimed Yoshimi culinary team, Tanapat “Tee” Vannopas as head sushi chef and Jerry Warner as guest sushi artist, from the renowned Yoshimi Restaurant at the Hyatt Regency, Mexico City.
Grand Hyatt Vail/Courtesy photo

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.

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