Chef Yimara "Yia" Medina’s began her career as an elementary school teacher, and after obtaining other degrees and careers, she struggled to find her true passion. While working as a restaurant manager, an emergency vacancy occurred in the kitchen and without cooking experience, she took on the opportunity and knew that the kitchen was where she needed to be. In 2007, Yia became the co-owner of her self-named restaurant Yia’s by Chef Tino. The restaurant’s tremendous success welcomed local and international press, taking her and her mentor, Chef Tino Feliciano, all the way to the Food Network and Cooking Channel. In August 2017, Yia found herself in a category 5 Hurricane, she was forced to send her 3 children to the United States to finish their school year. Like hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans, Chef Yia had no choice but to relocate and follow her kids to the United States. Yia made her way to Texas, with only a backpack, and reunited with her children and resumed her culinary career at the Ritz-Carlton in Dallas. Her use of global herbs, bright colored fruits and vegetables, and her focus on fresh ingredients landed her the position of Executive Chef for Jasper's Uptown, an upscale-casual, full-service restaurant specializing in Gourmet Backyard Cuisine.