Celebrity Chef Amanda Freitag: “Feeding People is Easy AF”
When veteran chef Amanda Freitag was asked to be a judge on the new television show Chopped in 2008, she had no way of knowing what kind of phenomenon it would become. Thirteen years, 46 seasons, 543 episodes, and 31 specials later, the show and Amanda’s career in the culinary industry are still going strong. Since starting on Chopped, she’s battled Bobby Flay in a cooking competition, joined Ty Pennington to makeover old restaurants, and showed off her culinary skills on countless talk shows. She even has a cookbook. She’s using these powers for good and turning her platform into a way to help those who need food by running a t-shirt fundraiser to support Chef Jose Andres’ organization World Central Kitchen.
She says she chose World Central Kitchen because, “They are ‘Food First responders’ going into areas in crisis and immediately getting food to those in need and hungry. As a chef, there is nothing more important to me than feeding people and during this pandemic there are so many in need.”
On her fundraising page, Amanda writes, “A year ago… none of us could have ever imagined what 2020 had in store. With so many people in need of support and love, I’ve been trying my best to give back and do more at every opportunity. This t-shirt fundraiser is my next push.
So, I am launching Easy AF t-shirts for all of you to enjoy with all funds raised going directly to World Central Kitchen.”
Making a difference through food has been a big part of Amanda’s life since she was young. “I grew up in New Jersey and started working in restaurants when I was a teenager. Food was a focus in our family and I was obsessed with European chefs and cooking shows. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Culinary School from my Home economics teacher.” She went on to become a chef in New York City and from there found a way to reach people through the power of television.
Through this work, she’s not only served as a judge on cooking shows but has also been able to mentor aspiring chefs. In addition to being on traditional television, Amanda has her own online series of cooking tutorials called Easy AF designed to help people stop being afraid of getting into the kitchen. She says, “Of course ‘AF’ are my initials and my goal is to teach people how to cook, simply and fearlessly. I demonstrate straight forward, approachable recipes and techniques in a light hearted vibe.”
Amanda reaches so many people through Easy AF, she thought that she could combine the demand for merch with the chance to raise money for a good cause because, as she says, “Sure, I want to show you that cooking is easy, but so is being a kind person” Her Director of Communications Kedzie Teller recommended that she try Custom Ink because he’d had good luck raising money through the Fundraising platform.
They had designer Joseph Hasenauer from OSBX create a logo inspired by Easy AF and then worked with Custom Ink to choose products and get the fundraiser set up. “I couldn’t be happier with our experience!” says Amanda.
You can see and support her fundraiser titled “Let’s Give Back: Because Feeding People is Easy AF!” and help get the word out about World Central Kitchen by going to her fundraising page below.