“The Edge” – Meet the Spark: Amanda Cohen

Over the past few months, we have devoted an article to each of the chefs in the American “WÜSTHOF defining the Edge” campaign. Today, we shall be introducing you to Amanda Cohen.

“Forget everything you have ever learned about cooking vegetables!” This is the motto Amanda Cohen goes by in her restaurant Dirt Candy in New York’s East Village.
“At Dirty Candy, it’s all about the vegetables. We have fought for the idea that we are a vegetable restaurant and not a vegetarian restaurant, because that’s how we really see ourselves! Our main aim is to change the way people perceive vegetables.” When Amanda Cohen looks at a vegetable, she sees it in many different parts, much as you would a cow for example. Then she gets together with her team to start thinking about how she can divide it up into even more delicious little parts to get the best possible flavour out of it.

It’s no wonder that many people see Amanda as a pioneer for her innovative cuisine and that Dirt Candy has become one of the most frequently booked out restaurants in New York. Although this could also be down to the fact that, until recently, Dirt Candy was very, very small and could only seat 20 people. It is due to reopen in new, bigger premises in February 2015.

Another example of the way Amanda breaks all the rules is her one and only cookbook, which is not a normal cookbook but a 220-page graphic novel. As well as lots of delicious recipes, it also includes plenty of comic strips drawn by Ryan Dunlavey about her work in the tiny Dirt Candy kitchen, her participation in the TV cookery show “Iron Chef America”, the way she develops her recipes and much more besides – see for yourselves: Here you can see the “Dirt Candy cookbook trailer”:

One thing is certain in any case: Amanda Cohen has a sense of humour… ;-)

Amanda’s source of inspiration:
“I’ve been doing this for about 15 years now. I’ve read hundreds of cookbooks and eaten in almost 1000 restaurants. All of this put together is like a sort of constantly simmering pot of ideas in my head. When the next idea seems like it’s ready, I fish it out of my head and start experimenting with it.”

You can find out more about Amanda, a couple of her recipes and tips, her favourite knife (the Classic 4183/17 cm Santoku with serrated edge) and the cookbooks she recommends at www.wusthofedge.com

Hier findet Ihr die anderen „The Edge“ Köchinnen und Köche, die wir Euch bisher vorgestellt haben:
„The Edge“ – Meet the Rebel: The Rebel: Richie Nakano
„The Edge“ – Meet the Believer: Jonathon Sawyer
„The Edge“ – Meet the Poet: Camas Davis

Now you can look forward to getting to know “The Maestro”, Marc Vetri, in our next article!

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