Published on 7/27/21


Diane Moua could always be found cooking alongside her parents growing up. Her family’s farm in Junction City, WI gave Diane the perfect setting to develop an interest for food. As her interest grew into passion, she decided to enroll at Le Cordon Bleu in Minnesota. While a student, Diane interned under James Beard Award-winning Chef Tim McKee at his four-star restaurant, La Belle Vie. After completing school, Diane worked at many reputable Twin Cities restaurants including Aquavit, Solera and back to La Belle Vie before joining Soigné Hospitality Group. Within her time with Soigné as the Executive Pastry Chef, Diane managed the pastry department for the group’s highly esteemed restaurants; Spoon and Stable, Bellecour, and Demi. Diane has since moved into a role with Cooks of Crocus Hill to focus on the Bellecour Bakery.

Diane is known for her unique desserts, elevated pastries, and impeccable technique. The most prevalent inspiration for Diane when developing new recipes takes her back to the farm she grew up on by always utilizing seasonal ingredients. Her thoughtful approach to everything she creates has led to some worthy recognition. Including numerous accolades such as the Charlie Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef in the Twin Cities and multiple James Beard Foundation nominations for Best Pastry Chef.

As a first-generation Hmong-American, Diane’s greatest accomplishment is larger than her many awards. Diane prides herself first on being a mother to her two children, who she has proudly set an example of how far a formidable work ethic can get you.

Chef Diane Moua


What inspired you to enter the world of pastry?

I originally wanted to do cakes, sugar sculptures and chocolate sculptures, but found out quickly that it really wasn’t for me. I did my internship and was introduced to plated desserts. I love making desserts look good and being able to make it taste delicious as well

Where do you find inspiration for your creations?

I find inspiration from cookbooks, other chefs and pastry chefs, my team, seasons...

Who in your life has been the biggest mentor/inspiration in your career?

My parents. They make me see things in a different way. They’re brutally honest with me.

What are your hopes for the future of the world of food and pastry?

I hope to see more females in executive positions in the food industry. Let’s empower and encourage each other.

What is your earliest dessert memory?

Apple Pie! Grocery store-bought apple pie! My mom loves pies so it was a delicious treat.

If you could pass one bit of insight down to a chef just getting their start, what would it be?

TAKE NOTES. Nothing makes sense in the beginning, but if you take notes, you can always reflect back.

What is your favorite perk of the Cercle V program?

I love all the info Cercle V provides. Being in the loop of the chocolate world!

When & how did you hear about Valrhona for the first time? / When & how did your “relationship” with Valrhona start?

I love all the info Cercle V provides. Being in the loop of the chocolate world!

When & how did you hear about Valrhona for the first time? / When & how did your “relationship” with Valrhona start?

My first job out of culinary school. It was the only brand of chocolate my pastry chef would use. I’ve been using Valrhona since 2001



Chef D

Celsius or Fahrenheit?


Favorite Valrhona Chocolate?

Strawberry Inspiration or Manjari (tie)

Favorite restaurant?

Young Joni, MPLS

MPLS Favorite flavor pairing with chocolate?


Go-to snack?

SPICY chicken wings or basically anything spicy

Coffee or Tea?


Favorite kitchen tool?

Helen Chen scissors!

Who do you follow on social media?

Pastry chefs and chefs! Anything food-related.

Favorite type of dessert to make? To eat?

Make: trifles!

Eat: ice cream!