The Family Chef
After a career in hospitality and then one in software (sales, teaching and writing), Amy was looking to do something with her “free” time while she stayed home with her two children. With the encouragement of her friends, she decided to start teaching cooking classes and The Family Chef was born.
Amy teaches classes that are best described as easy and healthy with a dash of restaurant style in people’s homes as well as stores, like Whole Foods. If you need more one-on-one help, she can provide you with a meal consultation in your home. This consists of Amy creating a pantry list, providing recipes, meal plans and even a cooking lesson, all tailored for you.
You can get the most frequent updates on her blog, http://thefamilychef.blogspot.com, where she writes about food as it relates to friends, children, experiences and her life. Check it out for some great recipes that everyone will enjoy. To get information about when and where she’s teaching cooking classes and about meal consultations, visit her website: http://www.amythefamilychef.com.
1. What is your top tip for balancing it all?
Since food is so important in all of our lives for health, energy, and weight, I make it a priority. I make sure to shop by myself so I have time to think about what I am buying and what I want to cook. Making sure I have this time is very important to me and keeps me balanced. I also need time to exercise which clears my mind and just makes me feel good. I often think about a recipe or what I’m cooking that night as I’m doing sit ups or jumping on and off of a step. I always wonder if the instructor would also find this humorous.
2. How has being a mother impacted your success?
I think becoming a mother has MADE me a success. There’s no way I could have embarked on the journey without going through what I have had. Although there are many, many talented chefs out there, being a mom and a chef has given me perspective that I feel is quite unique. You can’t just put some olives on an English muffin pizza and think that’s what you do to feed children. It’s all about taste, texture and strategy. That’s what I bring to the proverbial table.
3. What is your best mommy moment?
I often tell this story because, to me, it’s just funny and of course, involves food. A friend of mine had posted a blog entry about Dino Kale served with white beans. I looked at it and said to myself, as good as it looks, I don’t think my kids will eat it. She wrote about how her children were eating it out of the pan and I thought, ok, I’ll try it. I cooked the recipe as is, adding pasta to it. I let the children add freshly grated parmesan and good olive oil; involving them in the process is key. Then, without calling it anything or providing any expectations, I just said “Let’s eat.” They each eat 2 bowls and wow, did it warm my heart. It made me realize I’m doing the right thing. And that I should listen to my own advice “Don’t make assumptions about children and eating.”
I’ve had other moments where the “picky eater” finished off the risotto or the veggie soup I made. That helps too.