You’ve seen her judging on the culinary game show Chopped. You saw her battle Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America in “Battle: King Crab,” narrowly losing to him by one point (49-50). You saw her appear as a guest on The Martha Stewart Show, demonstrating recipes for yogurt panna cotta and celery root and ginger gold apple soup. You saw her in Season Two on The Next Iron Chef where she finished fourth.
And now, at 2 pm on Sunday, April 15th, you can see her—Executive Chef and TV Personality Amanda Freitag—at the Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center. Freitag’s appearance, sponsored by the Friends of the Secaucus Public Library, will mark the end of National Library Week.
Growing up in New Jersey, Amanda Freitag’s passion for food was fostered by everyone, from her grandparents to her high school home economic teachers, according to her online biography. One of Freitag’s grandparents was the late Margaret Grazioli, longtime director of the Secaucus Public Library. Grazioli’s name is emblazoned on the library’s Story Tower where the Expanded Story Hour is held four days a week since she began the program in September 1973 at the old library in the Plaza Center.
Library director Jenifer May noted that all those who are fans and regular viewers of the Food Network and the Cooking Channel will immediately recognize the well-known chef. “It’s quite an honor to have someone of Amanda Freitag’s stature and reputation in the restaurant business speak at the library. It’ll be interesting to learn whether Margaret Grazioli had any special recipes that helped inspire her granddaughter to pursue the successful road she’s traveled to some of the area’s top restaurants’ kitchens, as well as a two-week stint in Paris in the kitchen of the Arpege Restaurant under Chef Alain Passard.,” the director said.
Freitag is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Her first position was in 1993 in a New York City kitchen as rotissier and garde manager at Vong under the guidance of Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The following year she began working with her mentor and friend Diane Forley at Verbena where she quickly rose through the ranks to become the restaurant’s chef de cuisine. In 1999, Freitag traveled extensively through France and Italy to explore markets and restaurants. She has since served at other restaurants in her search to learn and to have the opportunity to show her versatility as a chef.
“We are all very excited to meet Amanda Freitag and hear about her travels and work in some of the top area restaurants. Perhaps she’ll share a secret recipe or two—or tell us which of her recipes, if any, were inspired by dinners at Grandma Grazioli’s house,” the director noted.
Space is limited. To register, call the library at 201-330-2083.