what is it?
Hi there, I'm Amanda and I opened East Culinary Studio in 2018.
The studio is located in Mueller, a neighborhood in east Austin, TX. I'm originally from Seattle and journeyed my way south for the warmth of the sun. We don't see much of it in the Pacific Northwest, but we make up for it in trees, mountains, snow, and water. Lots of water. Oysters anyone? Now I'm here in Texas learning what is means to be a Longhorn and eating my weight in BBQ, fresh local peaches, and okra. Mostly pickled.
I thought I’d tell you why I started cooking and why it continues a strong rooting force in my life. After my Freshman year of college my dearest friend passed away suddenly. She'd just wrapped up her degree at the Culinary Institute of America and was starting her career as a chef. After her passing I continued to cook as a way to stay connected with her, developing my own passion for food and nutrition.
Cooking will always remind me of her and how one meal can leave you with strong memories of a person; she made me the most amazing scrambled eggs with onions and parmesan. Her parents gifted me her school knives and when I use her chef’s knife I am constantly reminded that not everyone gets to follow their dreams and I am a very lucky lady to be able to do what I love. Someone once grabbed this knife and started cutting flower stems with it on a rock slab. Needless to say, I was distraught at having someone use my most precious possession so haphazardly. She meant so much to me and when I cook, I always think of her.
I love to teach people how to cook wholesome, nutrient dense meals using fresh local ingredients. Cooking doesn't have to be hard -- it should be second nature. Something you don't have to think about too much. I strive to teach my clients and students the same confidence I feel when I cut an onion, quick-pickle a jar of cucumbers with fresh coriander, or serve my family a simple and nourishing meal.
I spent many years working at various restaurants, volunteering with local youth gardening+cooking programs, and becoming a Master Preserver through Tilth in Seattle.
I have my Master's in Nutrition from Bastyr University, whose focus is on a whole foods approach to nutrition, eating, and good health.