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Andrew Zimmern on Leeann Chin

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Leeann Chin
Leeann Chin, who founded the Minnesota chain of Chinese restaurants bearing her name, has died in Seattle. She was 77.
Courtesy of Leeann Chin's family

An icon in the Twin Cities restaurant scene has died.

Leeann Chin, who founded the Minnesota chain of Chinese restaurants bearing her name, passed away Wednesday from complications from a long-term illness.  She was 77.

Lee Ann Chin emigrated from China in 1957, and started her first restaurant in Minnetonka in 1980.  Since then, the restaurants bearing her name were sold, bought back, and under her leadership, evolved into fast food and takeout Chinese. 

The restaurant chain bearing her name now has more than 40 locations mostly in the Twin Cities area. 

Andrew Zimmern is a long-time Twin Cities food columnist and host of  "Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern" on the Travel Channel, and he joined All Things Considered to talk about her legacy in Minnesota.