It has now been a few months since the finale of MasterChef Season 6, which featured Seattle contestant Amanda Saab; A social worker who began going full-force on mastering brilliant dishes in the kitchen after graduate school as a creative outlet. It is my pleasure to introduce Amanda here in her new chapter, post-MasterChef. Thank you Amanda for sharing your story with us!
First Memories of Cooking
"My first memories of cooking were with my mother. I remember standing on a step stool and helping crack eggs, stir and pour batters of cakes and breads."
Favorite Foods Growing Up
"I grew up with a blend of traditional American favorites (burgers, pizza, pastas) and Lebanese food like grape leaves, mjadara (lentils) and kibbeh niyeh (raw beef with bulgar wheat)."
Fondest Memories in the Kitchen
"My fondest memories of being in the kitchen as a kid, were those spent with my mother and grandmother. My mother taught me to make her banana bread, my grandmother her grape leaves; both I still make today!"
"I find inspiration from the world around me, shopping in the farmers markets, and focusing on the ingredients. I usually don't know what the finished dish is going to look like until I start cooking and just move in the direction that feels right."
Pumpkin Cheesecake, French Baguette with Goat Cheese, Fig Preserves and Micro-Arugula, and Pumpkin Curry Soup with Cranberry Relish
Photos Courtesy Amanda's Instagram Page here: (Click photos for recipes)
Photos: The Whale Wins, courtesy their "Photos" section
"I love a good olive oil and whatever is in season! Also, microgreens! They make everything look fancy!"
Expanding Your Horizons in the Kitchen
"If you feel stuck to the same two or three recipes, try mixing up the ingredients from said recipes (think MasterChef mystery box or Chopped), or add some new spices. It can be difficult to get inspired and creative when getting home from work after a long day. Save a fun new recipe for Saturday afternoon. :)"
Winter Wonderland: Chocolate Peppermint Cookies, Cran-Orange Cupcakes with Sugary Cranberries and Peppermint Marshmallows for Hot Chocolate
Photos courtesy Amanda's Instagram Page here: (Click photos for recipes)
What's Next for Amanda?
"My dream of owning my own restaurant is definitely a long time goal. I'm working on a startup and hope that will succeed and allow me to pursue the restaurant. :-)"
We really look forward to seeing more of Amanda in the near future along with her new adventures! To keep up to date with what she's up to including recipes, you can find Amanda here: Website: Amanda's Plate Twitter: @AmandasPlate Instagram: amandasplate