Jasper’s Uptown, the casual dining concept nestled in the heart of the Knox District, announced today the addition of a culinary connoisseur to fill the role of Executive Chef, Chef Yia Medina. Not only does Chef Yia bring her ten-plus years of passion and success to the Jasper’s Uptown kitchen, she also brings with her a predominantly female staff.
“I am thrilled to join the Jasper’s Uptown team. Their tenure and success in various markets speaks for itself.” said Chef Yia Medina, Executive Chef. “The Jasper’s Brand aligns so perfectly with my experiences and passion for fresh ingredients and unique taste profiles. Coming from an island, I’m looking forward to continuing to incorporate fresh, bright, seasonal ingredients from local farmers into dishes. The ingredients and flavors we use is what sets Jasper’s Uptown apart from some of the other dining options in our area.”
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Chef Yia found her passion for working in the kitchen after high school and went on to open her own restaurant, Yia’s by Chef Tino. Chef Yia’s career was taken to the next level when she joined the team at The Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Dorado, PR. There, she learned the terminology and techniques and perfected her craft. When the deadly, Category 5 hurricane, Hurricane Maria, hit Puerto Rico Chef Yia made the tough decision to pack up her family and her belongings and make the move to Texas.
“Moving to Texas was difficult for me,” said Chef Yia. “My heart was broken knowing I had to leave my life in Puerto Rico behind, but it was what was best for my children and myself.”
Chef Yia’s true skill lies in her ability to change a person’s mood, take them back in time, and bring out the best in people through her cooking. Her dishes inspire joy and the scents coming from the kitchen at Jasper’s Uptown bring back memories of her past. Chef Yia shares that skill not only with patrons at Jasper’s Uptown, but also her family and friends still in Puerto Rico.
“I decided to join the recovery efforts after seeing the devastation of the earthquakes and how affected my people were. I know the feeling of being displaced from your home and not knowing if or when you can return, so I put myself to work cooking for those at the shelter. I hope my food can help bring someone a little bit of joy during such a distressing time,” added Chef Yia.
Some of the new, playful items Chef Yia is introducing to the menu for brunch include BAE (Bacon and Egg), candied bacon suspended from a guitar string above deviled eggs filled with a refreshing lime guacamole, which is a nod to her musical background; and the Waffle BLT, to name a few