Award-winning and bestseling author and chef Amalia Moreno-Damgaard, helps people develop a better understanding and appreciation of Latin cultures through healthy gourmet cuisine. Amalia combines her culinary savvy and business skills with gourmet cuisine to create a platform to educate others about cultural synergies in Latin America.
Amalia’s love affair with cooking started where so many others do, in her grandmother’s kitchen. Hers was in Guatemala. “I still remember the flavors I grew to love as a girl,” Amalia says. “I remember the banana leaves, Guatemalan chile peppers, the cinnamon, loroco, chipilín, zamat and all those native spices and flowers.” But as an adult, she chose another path. She went to college and graduate school in the U.S. and became an international banker. Amalia even married a Dane. Still, though, her roots called to her, particularly the cuisine.
After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu, Amalia decided to pursue her true passion. Now, she’s fusing classic Old World traditions and her New World roots with healthy cooking events and professional chef services. Her cookbook, Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen-Gourmet Cuisine With A Cultural Flair, is a bestseller and the winner of 6 national awards including Best Foreign Cuisine Book in USA by Gourmand World Cookbooks. She offers her services from her culinary hub at the Midtown Global Market and has taught at the legendary Cooks of Crocus Hill, Kitchen Window, Byerly’s, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chefs Abode and at kitchens and venues all over the Twin Cities.
Amalia has worked with most of the local Fortune 100 and 500 companies and designed themes, plans and menus for fundraisers from small to large gala events. For many years she has supported community-driven organizations such as the American Heart Association, The Make a Wish Foundation, The Children’s Theater, The Memorial Blood Centers, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, The Guatemalan Student Support Group, Common Hope, ITEMP/God’s Child Project, the Minnesota International Center, PACER, Way to Grow, MEDA and the Guatemalan Society of Minnesota, through charitable donations of her time and skills.
Amalia’s work has gained recognition in the Twin Cities and in Guatemala City and beyond with features in magazines, newspapers and multiple TV appearances, including Univision, Fox9, KSTP5, Kare11, and Guatemala’s Canal 7, Guatevision and Canal Antigua. And in Guatemala’s radio stations: Emisoras Unidas’ Tuti Furlan Show, El Estartazo, Radio Sonora Entre Mujeres, Radio Infinita, Radio Alfa and Radio Uyuyuy. She writes for the Twin Cities’ newspapers Latino American Today and La Voz Latina in Spanish and English and for Guatemala’s English-Language Magazine Revue. She also servers on the boards of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Alumni Association, Common Hope, Latino Economic Development (LEDC) and Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota, an organization that fosters women entrepreneurship and that she co-founded and is president-emeritus.
“Fish, to taste right, must swim three times: in water, in butter and in wine” (Polish Proverb)