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.
Multicultural Media Personality
As a media contributor, Amalia seeks to create social impact through cultural understanding as a regular guest on Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), WCCO-TV & Radio (CBS), Kare11 (NBC), KSTP TV5 Twin Cities Live (ABC), Telemundo- and Univision-Minnesota. She is a judge in the series The Great Minnesota Recipe airing on PBS-Duluth (WDSE) now in its second season (Spring 2023) and participated in the series Relish on PBS-Twin Cities Public Television.
In The News
Amalia is a familiar face in the Twin Cities and international media. She participated in the Minnesota Super Bowl LII as a chef celebrity judge and presenter during the contest Super Snack Challenge focused on healthy snacks for kids. She was a chef judge and presenter at the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs Conference in Minneapolis and a Hispanic Top Chef contestant in Denver. As a regular contributor, Amalia presents at The World of the Latino Cuisine in New Jersey and Las Vegas during the National Grocers Association (NGA) Show. As a bilingual guest writer, Amalia contributed to Guatemala’s Revue Magazine and Siglo 21 as well as to Volaris Inflight Magazine and El Minnesota de Hoy.
Entrepreneur in Minnesota
Her passion for culture and cuisine rose from her childhood in Guatemala, where her close relationship with her maternal grandmother taught her entrepreneurial lessons and 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.
While growing up, Amalia experienced regenerative agriculture and sustainable farming firsthand at her great-grandfather’s coffee plantation and dairy farm in eastern 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 allows 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 cultural culinary exploration in 80+ countries on all seven continents.
Early in her career, Amalia refined her teaching skills 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.
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 a long history of board service and has mentored many aspiring women business owners.
She is the 2023 first Latina president of the National Association of Women Business Owners-Minnesota Chapter (NAWBO-MN).
Amalia’s Values and Mission
Amalia’s work in the culinary and culture space fosters DEI&B (diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging) 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 Latin American culture by bridging the awareness gap and developing a broader understanding and appreciation of cultural nuances as a sought-after inspirational speaker, bilingual brand ambassador, culinary consultant, and gourmet-experiences chef.
Academic and Continuing Education
Amalia is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu and the National Speakers Association Speaker’s Academy with a Master in International Business from St. Louis University and an alumna of the Cornell University-Bank of America Women’s Entrepreneurship Program. She is currently participating in The Culinary Enrichment & Innovation Program sponsored by Hormel Foods alongside an elite group of 20 chefs at all locations across the country of the Culinary Institutes of America.
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 brand consultant and presents regularly at corporations. Her Signature Hispanic Heritage Month speaking events have established Amalia as a Latin cuisine and culture ambassador nationwide.
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Fish, to taste right, must swim three times: in water, in butter and in wine (Polish Proverb)