Local celebrity chef and author, Amalia Moreno-Damgaard has been serving on the Common Hope Executive Board since 2010. A Guatemalan, she understands, intimately the beauitful culture of Guatemala. Gratefully, this year she is again creating the menu for NOCHE DE COLORES on May 16, 2019. She has been recently recognized as one of Guatemala’s Hottest Chefs in 2018 by Culture Trip, a global online platform operating in travel, media and entertainment named by Forbes as one of the fastest-growing companies to watch. You will definitely want to join us at Noche de Colores this year! Get your tickets today!
We took a minute out of Amalia’s busy schedule to do a quick Q&A and learn more about Amalia what inspires her!
When did you start cooking? What inspired you to become a chef?
As a little girl, I used to help my maternal grandmother in the kitchen. We also went to the plaza (vegetable market) together in her hometown. In addition to learning cooking techniques and tips from her, I learned how to bargain with the merchants (as is common practice in Guatemala). I didn’t know it then that I was learning kitchen lessons for life. It was this early start that I believe inspired me to start cooking professionally.
What inspired you to become a Speaker and Author?
I started speaking when I was teaching cooking classes at various Twin Cities’ culinary schools. Later I published my first cookbook and this helped increase my public speaking bookings. Today I use gourmet cuisine as a platform to educate my audiences about a variety of topics from food culture and diversity and cultural nuances, to career transitioning, entrepreneurship and wellness, and more.
What one thing do you miss most about Guatemala?
My family, the food, and traditions.
What is your favorite thing about Common Hope?
As an individual that has done amazing things and has incredible accomplishments – what is one accomplishment you wish for Guatemala?
A higher literacy rate and equality.
What is your favorite city in Guatemala and why?
Panajachel, Sololá. It’s a magical place because it reminds me of my dad and of my time growing up in Guatemala having a good time with my friends.
Thank you to Amalia for participating in our quick Q&A and for supporting Common Hope’s mission! You can frequently catch Amalia on Twin Cities Live. She also writes about food, drink, and culture for Revue Magazine, Guatemala’s English-language magazine. And if you want to bring the flavors of Guatemala to your own kitchen, pick up a copy of her award-winning cookbook, Amalia’s Guatemala Kitchen: Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair.