Amalia helps develop a better understanding and appreciation of Latin cultures through healthy gourmet cuisine. She uses food as a platform to educate her audience 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 had a career in international banking. 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, programs and professional chef services. Her cookbook, Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen-Gourmet Cuisine With A Cultural Flair, is a bestseller and the winner of 9 national and international awards including Best Foreign Cuisine Book USA by Gourmand World Cookbooks 2014. She cooks at 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, and at kitchens and venues all over the Twin Cities.
Amalia has worked with most of the local Fortune 500 companies on custom projects and events, and designed themes, plans and menus for gala fundraisers for medium and large non profit organizations. For years Amalia has supported the community by mentoring women entrepreneurs and through charitable donations of her time and skills to nonprofits. She also serves on the Executive Boards of Common Hope and Latino Economic Development (LEDC) and is co-founder and president-emeritus of Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota (WeMN.org).
Amalia’s work has gained recognition in the Twin Cities, Guatemala City ,and beyond with features in magazines, radio, newspapers and multiple TV appearances, including Univision-Minnesota, Fox9, KSTP5, Kare11, Canal 7, Guatevision, Canal Antigua, Emisoras Unidas radio, TGW-La Voz de Guatemala and others. She writes for the Twin Cities’ newspapers Latino American Today and La Voz Latina and for Guatemala’s English-Language Magazine Revue.
Fish, to taste right, must swim three times: in water, in butter and in wine (Polish Proverb)