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Meet Uno Immanivong From The Taste And Soon To Open Chino

DSC05484by Steven Doyle

Hanging out in Trinity Groves for an afternoon you meet all sorts of interesting foodie people. Yesterday, while hunting and gathering information from Phil Romano we ran across the very delightful Uno Immanivong who is currently involved in the latest television cheffy game show called The Taste. The program which airs on ABC involves four celebrity chefs who mentor four team members selected from blind tastings. Our local girl Uno was selected to be on Anthony Bourdain’s team, and continues to compete each Tuesday evening.  

The truly exciting news, however, is that Uno will be one of the first to open a restaurant in Trinity Groves. If you are a regular reader you know that Trinity Groves is the Phil Romano vision of incubator restaurants that expand across to the west of the new Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. This little foodie paradise will have plenty of interesting restaurants, related shops and even an amphitheater. Trinity Groves already sports Four Corners Brewing Company which makes for an excellent anchor for the region.

If all this wasn’t enough, Uno owns a company called Foodie Couture that is her fun catering business.

We did a little Q&A with this adorable and talented woman. Read on my friends.

Tell us about this television thing you are doing.

The show is amazing. About 8,000 applied to be on The Taste, and they brought about 80 of us to LA. From the 80 they narrowed it down to 16 people. It was kind of nerve racking and I didn’t think I would make it.

The show sounds interesting since you won your spot by offering a blind tasting.

Right. They had us behind this hatch and the mentors tasted our spoons, and they pick us based on that one bite of food. It’s that one bite that will make you or break you. You had to compose that one perfect spoonful. If two mentors pick you then you had your choice of mentors, and I chose Bourdain.

What did you make that turned on the hosts?

I made this dish called larb gai which translates into Lucky Chicken in English. It is a dish that I grew up with in Laos. It’s minced chicken with the gizzards, the heart, the kidney and liver. It’s made with Asian seasonings like lemongrass and ginger. I also did this kefir lime salt chicken skin on top for that textural difference on there.

Hey, you know I’m doing this pop up dinner at Four Corners on Saturday!

I heard that. Tell us about that and Chino, and we will link the dinner at the end of our article.

It’s where everyone can come out and judge me for themselves. It’s a pop up dinner at the brewery. It is a six course dinner with drink pairings. My partner at Chino, Adrian Verdin, does these amazing cocktails and he will be making those to pair with the dinner. Chino will be a fun Asian-Latin fusion restaurant right here in Trinity Grove.

You were to do this cool restaurant thing with Mico Rodriguez a few years ago in West Village. What happened to that?

It just wasn’t the right time. I adore Mico. He actually named Mr Mesero after my daughter. She calls him Mr Mico, so when he opened his restaurant he added the Mr to Mesero, which was about her.

So when’s this restaurant Chino going to open?

May, or maybe June or July. You know how that goes.

Good luck on the show and look forward to sampling your cuisine very soon.

For those wanting to meet Uno Immanivong she will host a Taste watching party next week at Sfuzzi on McKinney in Uptown. You can watch The Taste online for free. To purchase your tickets to the pop up dinner this Saturday evening.


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