We chat to Guatemalan Chef Amalia, author of renowned cookbook Amalia's Guatemalan Kitchen in advance of her cookalong event for EFTC on Thursday 24 March.
Hi Amalia! We are so excited for your cookalong event next month and can't wait to find out what's on the menu. But firstly, we're curious to find out where you get your inspiration for your delicious creations:
What inspired you to become a chef?
My calling and ultimately my maternal grandmother who was an excellent cook.
What is your favorite Guatemalan dish?'
I like all the Mayan stews and my favorite is Jocón (chicken in tomatillo-cilantro sauce) because it’s delicious and easy to make.
What is your favorite dish that you can prepare and serve in 20 minutes?
Doblada con Chirmolito, soft corn tortillas stuffed with black beans and cheese and topped with Guatemalan sofrito.
What is your favorite ever restaurant and what did you eat there?
Long ago there was a restaurant in downtown Guatemala City called “Delicias Típicas” and I love their Enchiladas and Chuchitos.
What is your best tip to eat healthily without compromising on flavor?
Sazón, meaning proper seasoning, is key in any cuisine. In Guatemalan cooking, easy and healthy sazón can come from lime juice, salt, ground roasted pumpkin seeds, and chile Cobán. This seasoning works well on fruit, raw vegetables, and grilled meats and seafood.
Who is your favorite TV chef?
My all-time favorite is Julia Child.
What is your favorite comfort food?
Corn tortillas stuffed with queso de capas (a mozzarella-like Guatemalan cheese wrapped in banana leaves)
Where is the most foodie inspirational place you have ever visited?
Oaxaca, Mexico for the sheer breadth of choice especially the wonderful street food.
Thank you so much Amalia and we can't wait to taste dinner when we cookalong with you on Thursday 24 March.