Every self-respecting chef knows the name Amanda Freitag. If you don’t, there is probably something wrong with you.
Raised in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, Freitag was born on May 11, 1972.
In addition to being a regular judge on the Food Network’s “Chopped,” the New Jersey raised chef works with Ty Pennington as co-hosts of “American Diner Revival.”
Like her fellow “Chopped” judge Geoffrey Zakarian, Freitag attended the Culinary Institute of America. She graduated from the CIA in 1989.
During her early career, Freitag worked under the chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Diane Forley and Alain Passard.
The experience Freitag acquired in her early culinary career was realised as a tangible brick and mortar in 2003 when she and Godfrey Polistina opened the Upper West Side restaurant Cesca Enoteca & Trattoria. She was the Cesca’s chef de cuisine. After being the chef de cuisine at the Cesca, Freitag took the executive chef position at The Harrison.
The Harrison, a New York restaurant, is owned by Jimmy Bradley. When Bradley decided to return to his kitchen as chef in 2010, Freitag left the restaurant.
Not surprisingly, like Zakarian and Alexandra Guarnaschelli, Freitag made appearances on “Iron Chef America.”
During “Battle: King Crab,” the New Jersey raised chef battled Bobby Flay. While there is little doubt Flay is an extraordinary culinary talent, Freitag came close to toppling the iron chef when she scored 49 to Flay’s 50 points.
Freitag appeared as a contestant in the second season of the Food Network’s “The Next Iron Chef.” While the chef finished in fourth place, this should not detract from what Freitag accomplished.
Three seasons later, the chef returned to the culinary competition. Unfortunately, the Iron Chef dream was not realized. In the season five finale, Freitag came close to defeating Guarnaschelli.
Freitag remains a “Chopped” fan favourite.