You can usually find her behind the food bar, holding her own in a busy station. Sweet could be her middle name, but let’s get real. She’s definitely not taking any smack from the guys! It’s chef Amanda Kenny, of course! She was Michael’s right hand in the studio at January’s cookbook shoot, so without further adieu, we give you…
Name: Amanda Kenny.
Childhood ambition: To be whatever made me happy in life and to let no one tell me otherwise.
Favorite dish at MGFD: Hard to choose one, but I would say the ceviche.
Most popular food prepared in your home: Potato gratin or Empanadas (the way abuelita taught me) or Quinoa salad with lemon vinaigrette.
Wildest food ever eaten: I had a wild experience eating food, in that I went to a restaurant, in Cologne Germany, where you eat in complete darkness. It was mind blowing! You could hear everything going on, from foot steps, to other conversations, and the cooks in the kitchen. The food was good and had so many different textures and underline flavors. I then went to the kitchen and saw the food, which had beautiful presentations, but for what I imagined.
Favorite beverage at MGDF: Only had water….need to try more drinks!
Proudest moment: Finishing college and having my family there to celebrate.
Biggest challenge: Moving by myself to Miami at 18, and trying to find work where people actually cared about their work so that they could grow and learn. It’s hard to find that here…..most only care about is the money.
Perfect day: A day that goes by smooth with no stress, no anxiety, and I can sleep calmly without dreaming about work…. :-P
First job: Server Assistant at an Italian Restaurant.
Ideal spot for your vacation home: Madrid, Spain.
Indulgence: Comfort Food, Eating any food that brings up childhood, and just adventures in eating in general.
Inspirations: My whole family are great inspirations to me because each one has an attribute that I admire and learn from. People who work hard, sacrifice a lot for what they do, and give back to the ones that helped them.
My life: I was born in Worcester Massachusetts and I haven’t been back since I was 3. My parents were completely different from each other and had very different backgrounds. My dad was raised in Mobile, Alabama and left home at 18 to travel the world in the US Navy. My Ma on the other hand was from Bogota, Colombia and grew up in Long Island. Both of their cultures made for an interesting childhood. My whole life I was moving around from place to place and I would have to say that I moved around maybe 17 times in my childhood. Most of where I lived was in Dallas, Texas. Then at fifteen, I moved to Atlanta, and after high school moved to Miami to be on my own. Started cooking when I was 17 and have been doing so ever since. It’s the only thing I can see myself doing for the rest of my life. When you know what you want in life, you just know. I have fallen for Miami and plan to be here for a while……it suits me well.