Cultural and Culinary Events
Amalia Moreno-Damgaard is a Guatemala native, business leader, multi-award-winning author, and chef entrepreneur with a prior executive career in international banking. She has authored two books, Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen – Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair and Amalia’s Mesoamerican Table – Ancient Culinary Traditions with Gourmet Infusions.
Her passion for culture and cuisine rose from her childhood in Guatemala, where her close relationship with her maternal grandmother taught her simple and healthy artisan cooking using local natural and unprocessed ingredients. Amalia’s style is fresh, practical, healthy, and gourmet, blending pre-Columbian, traditional, and classic French techniques with her Latin roots.
As a child, Amalia experienced regenerative agriculture and sustainable farming firsthand at her great-grandfather’s coffee plantation and dairy farm in Guatemala without realizing their value. It was common practice. Her great-grandmother and grandmother grew fruits, vegetables, and herbs in their backyards that became part of daily meals. Naturally, as an adult, she is drawn to healthful environments and simple natural foods for health and wellness.
Amalia is an award-winning author and Guatemalan chef, allowing others to experience the Latin culture through her blend of recipes and cultural insight. Her cookbooks use healthful and classic homestyle cooking as well as inspiration from her travel experience in all seven continents.
Amalia’s Values and Mission
Amalia’s work in the culinary and culture space fosters DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) with food as the common denominator. As a triple minority immigrant living in the United States, she has strived to overcome gender challenges and ethnicity and cultural misunderstanding socially and in business. In response, she earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and Le Cordon Bleu degrees while working full time. Her mission and vision for Amalia LLC (dba Amalia Latin Gourmet) were born to address these experiences.
As a WBENC, nationally-certified, woman-owned business enterprise, Amalia’s mission aims to help individuals and organizations of all sizes understand the Latin American culture. Her work bridges the gap and develops a broader understanding and appreciation of Latin cultural nuances as a sought-after inspirational speaker, bilingual brand ambassador, culinary consultant, and gourmet-experienced chef.
Woman Entrepreneur in Minnesota
She is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu and the National Speakers Association Speaker’s Academy with a Masters in International Business from St. Louis University and an alumna of the Cornell University-Bank of America Women’s Entrepreneurship Program. Amalia is co-founder and chief board advisor of Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota (WeMN.org), a 501(c)6 nonprofit fostering women’s entrepreneurship through mentoring and leadership education. She has also mentored many aspiring women business owners there.
Clients and Partners
Amalia’s clients and partners include Fortune 100-500 companies, professional organizations, nonprofits, colleges, universities, and schools in the Twin Cities and beyond. She has worked with Crystal Farms as brand ambassador for their first line of Hispanic cheeses as well as with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Beef Council. She has been a consultant to General Mills’ Betty Crocker Kitchen and Que Rica Vida and Kroger. She works with Sabrosura Foods as a brand consultant.
In the News
Amalia is a familiar face in the Twin Cities and international media. She has taught at all the major cooking schools in the Twin Cities, including Cooks of Crocus Hill, Kitchen Window, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Nordic Ware, and the Good Acre. She participated in Super Bowl LII as a presenter, chef judge, and media personality during Super Snack Challenge healthy snacks for kids. Amalia was a teacher and chef judge at the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
She has been a regular guest on TV and radio shows, including MPR, WCCO(CBS), Kare11(NBC), PBS/TPT, KSTP TV5(ABC), Twin Cities Live, and Univision-Minnesota. She has been a guest bilingual writer for years at Revue Magazine-Guatemala, as well as Siglo 21, Volaris Inflight Magazine, and El Minnesota de Hoy.
Fish, to taste right, must swim three times: in water, in butter and in wine (Polish Proverb)