Chef Minerva “Minnie” Hernandez
Minerva "Minnie" Hernandez has been an integral part of Galangal’s culinary team since its inception in 2009. A native of the Dominican Republic, Minnie’s natural culinary instincts were apparent at an early age, and her cultural curiosity and palate were heavily influenced by the broad multiculturalism reflected in Dominican cuisine, from the tangy collection of native herbs and spices contained in sofrito to the rich and varied textures of plantains in mangu and mofongo.
Upon joining (and eventually leading) Galangal’s kitchen staff shortly after her relocation to St. Croix, Minnie was presented with the opportunity to learn the intricacies of Thai and other Southeast Asian cuisines under the personal tutelage of Chef Yui (insert last name) of "A lot of Thai" cooking school, located in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Chef Yui has traveled the world in pursuit of his mission to train talented culinary artists like Minnie in the proper preparation of Traditional Thai cuisine. Minnie's time with Chef Yui during Galangal’s early years was invaluable, and in 2014, Minnie was invited to fine-tune her Southeast Asian cooking skills at Chef Yui’s school in Thailand, where she experienced first-hand the sights, smells and flavors of the region with which she’d fallen in love at first taste. Chef Yui inspired Minnie to adopt her own personal culinary mission: “Every dish should balance the savory, salty, sweet, and spicy elements, come together for a perfect result.”
Beloved by her Galangal family and patrons alike, Minnie’s passion for the food can be tasted in each and every plate.
Yui Sriyabhaya is a consultant for new Thai restaurants around the world, including Burma (Myanmar), Hong Kong, and Thailand. She was the local connection for Chef Ramsay’s tour to Northern Thailand.