May 30, 2023 – American celebrity chef, star of the TV show “Chopped” and cookbook author Amanda Freitag will visit Armenia June 1-6, 2023 for a culinary diplomacy program focused on food sustainability and culinary entrepreneurship, hosted by the U.S. Embassy in collaboration with The Culinary Diplomacy Project.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Chef Freitag has worked in a diverse mix of restaurants in New York City and is well known for being a judge on the popular American TV show “Chopped.” She has also appeared on Iron Chef America, Next Iron Chef, Unique Eats, Beat Bobby Flay, and more. Her mission to make cooking more approachable inspired her cookbook The Chef Next Door. Most recently she launched a digital series called “Easy AF” where she shows audiences that delicious food can be fun and easy to make in your own kitchen.
“Sharing a meal together can promote a deep understanding of a culture’s values and traditions,” said Ambassador Kristina Kvien. “We’re delighted to host Chef Freitag for a visit to Armenia to strengthen U.S.-Armenian ties and spark important conversations about food sustainability and entrepreneurship.”
Chef Freitag’s visit to Armenia will also include cooking demonstrations, masterclasses, and workshops with aspiring chefs and food entrepreneurs, with a focus on innovation, sustainability, entrepreneurship, and women’s empowerment. These engagements will be held in partnership with Yerevan Wine Days Festival, Yeremyan Academy for Culinary Arts, and TUMO Center for Creative Technologies in Dilijan.
Chef Freitag will also visit local food producers supported by USAID/Armenia’s rural economic development initiatives, where she will learn about Armenia’s food traditions and discuss the importance of food sustainability. This will include visits to local companies such as: Yellow Bee, Dream Chocolate, Borisovka LLC, Mets & More Bakery, and various wine producers.
“USAID partners with Armenia to boost rural development across the country—including support to food producers and agribusinesses,” said USAID/Armenia Mission Director John Allelo. “We’re delighted to shine a light on Armenia’s amazing food entrepreneurs through Chef Freitag’s visit.”
In the last 30 years, USAID/Armenia has invested more than $1.5 billion in the development of the country’s economy and democracy.