It’s possible to eat mindfully while also enjoying incredible flavor—just ask Amanda Haas. She literally wrote the book on it. Or should we say, the books on it, including her latest release, The Vibrant Life: Eat Well, Be Well. Amanda is a passionate advocate for eating well without sacrificing flavor, and she’s a pro at combining fresh, whole ingredients with the magic of real wood smoke. A former culinary director at Williams-Sonoma, Amanda is also an accomplished chef, food writer, cooking instructor, and consultant. When she’s not busy with her many other gigs, she’s supporting her favorite charity, No Kids Hungry, and spending time with her two sons in the San Francisco area.
Tell us about a cookbook that you love?
Anything from Ina Garten! (Honestly, I'm sick of my own cookbooks. haha)
Your most trusted cooking tool?
A fish spatula that is actually just a kick-ass multi-purpose tool. It is poorly named!
Favorite music to listen to while cooking?
It HAS to be upbeat. I'm currently listening to a playlist my friend made that is full of 80s music and I dance to it nonstop while I cook! Chaka Khan, Pat Benatar, Prince, David Bowie, the Go-Gos, INXS... I mean how can you not love it?
First (or best) cooking lesson you learned by trial and error?
Cooking over an open fire for the first time. I was so nervous, but quickly learned how to control the heat to my liking and was so proud of myself.
Strangest food you’ve eaten or cooked?
Brains. My friend tricked me in Morocco and told me it was tofu (it was a dimly-lit restaurant.)
Follow Amanda Haas on Instagram @amandahaascooks