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New Orleans, LA /
Mister Mao

Sophina Uong’s family fled from war-torn Cambodia when she was two and landed in Long Beach, California. She taught herself how to cook, spending time watching the women around her make everything from pot roast to guisados. Turning her love of cooking into a career, she worked at some of the San Francisco Bay Area’s best restaurants including Restaurant Lulu, Absinthe, and Citizen Cake. Uong opened Andrew Zimmern’s Lucky Cricket restaurant in Minneapolis, then came to New Orleans to unite a love of Southern cuisine with her California upbringing. Mister Mao opened in 2021 and was named one of Bon Appetit’s 50 Best New Restaurants 2022.