IN THE KITCHEN WITH AMANDA LOVE
Tell us about yourself:
How did you get involved in cooking?
I started cooking at the age of 5 and cooked all through my childhood. My mom was an amazing cook and always encouraged me. One time when I was 8 years old, while she away from home, I decided to surprise her with a gourmet meal for dinner. I didn’t even know how to make this dish but I somehow made the most delicious Cornish Game Hen with julienned carrots and green beans. All I did was cook the hens on low heat in the oven and baste with butter every 15 minutes. They turned out amazing. My mom was so surprised and delighted when she got home that I was encouraged to keep cooking.
I taught my friends how to cook all through high school and never thought I would actually do this for a living, but to this day, I still teach people how to cook. It became professional when I was 20 and began working in the kitchen of Heartwood Institute. It was there that I learned to cook for a crowd of 100+ people per meal focusing on organic, local, seasonal, fresh food.
This was over 20 years ago before this style of eating was even popular but it was forever a priority for me to cook this way and impart the message of healing with high quality food.
After my time at Heartwood, I ended up cooking for meditation retreats and permaculture workshops in Northern California and then hit the road teaching families (and celebrities) all over the country how to reclaim health through simple, delicious cooking. This work eventually led to me to cook for conferences including the Weston A Price annual conference as well as the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Annual Association conference.
To this day, even though I am now a nutrition practitioner, I still love teaching cooking classes and lessons. It is so rewarding to turn someone on to cooking real food.
Describe your cooking style:
Fresh, local, seasonal, simple, delicious, nutrient dense, filled with love
How did you learn about grass-fed meats?
When I learned about the work and findings of Dr. Weston A. Price and how our ancestors ate for centuries to attain good health, I understood the importance of eating quality meat raised on pasture.
What is your favorite recipe featuring grass-fed meat?
Paleo Shepherd’s Pie
You’re stranded on a desert island; luckily, you’re stranded with your top 5 ingredients and one must-have kitchen tool:
Give me a chef’s knife, some freshly caught wild fish, some cilantro, onion, lime, chili and salt and I will make you the best ceviche of your life!
Best cooking secret/tip/piece of advice you’ve learned:
Sear and then cook it low and slow!
What’s your favorite quote/song for culinary inspiration (if any)?
Don’t Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin – basically, it’s really important to be happy while you cook and impart that happiness into the food you and others eat.
Anything else you want to share?
Food is the foundation of life, of health, of connection, of community. Let us heal our bodies, our families, our communities, our country and our world by coming back to the table with real food.
Come check out my Nourishing Cleanse and Seasonal Menu Plans at www.amandalove.com
Enter to win our December 2018 Featured Chef Prize Pack! Contest runs from December 1 – December 12, 2018.