Uno Immanivong is a first generation Asian American of Laotian descent. She was born in a Thai refugee camp where her parents dreamed of giving her a better life. That determination led them to America.
In America, she observed her parents working two and three jobs to make ends meet. Through her adolescence, her parents encouraged her get an education and a professional office job so she wouldn’t have the same struggles that they did. As a result, Uno pursued a 16-year banking career. During her tenure, she immersed herself into every aspect of the finance sector, starting out as a part-time bank teller to becoming an underwriter, nationals sales training manager, cross-sell program developer, and eventually managing mortgage retail branches for Fortune 500 companies. Although she flourished in her craft, the dream of nourishing people with food inspired by her childhood always lingered.
She auditioned for a reality cooking show with Anthony Bourdain and, when he chose to mentor her, it massively altered the course of her life. As ephemeral as that opportunity was, it broke through a belief system that empowered her to follow her heart and take a chance on life. In 2013, Uno left banking to pursue her passion for cooking and the journey created the hugely popular, Chino Chinatown in Trinity Groves, Red Stix Asian Street Food, and Chef Uno Brands.
Her finance experience and an intimate understanding of the restaurants profitability model has been a catalyst to the growth of her business. She applied the leadership skills from banking to build Chino Chinatown’s functionality, efficiency, and overall brand. In 2018, she created Red Stix Asian Street Food with two permanent locations set to open by the end of 2019 along with Chef Uno Brands, a hospitality consulting firm.
In addition to her businesses, Uno has made numerous television appearances (ABC, EyeOpener TV, Fox, Cooking Channel) where she creates recipes and promotional cooking videos for an array of brands.
Uno’s life has been a series of choices, big and small, strung together by hope, faith, and love. It’s been almost 7 years since her transition from banking and she has built several concepts, with menus inspired by moments shared with her family in the kitchen and through their travels. Uno is a professional of integrity and strong customer-centric approach that seeks to make the world a tastier place, one bite at a time.
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