Chef Amanda Freitag is one of the most beloved stars of the Food Network. She always has a smile on her face even as she endures the craziest culinary challenges. This year she will be once again highlighting her skills with a live cooking demo at Bourbon and Beyond Festival in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Travel Addict caught up with Freitag before the festival to talk about her cooking demo, all things cocktails, music and charity work she is passionate about.
What are you most looking forward to at Bourbon & Beyond?
Of course, my cooking demo, which is always fun because like you said, I like to teach. And what’s better than a live audience? I haven’t had too many of those recently, and I’ve always felt there’s a serious synergy between chefs and musicians and food and music.
More and more of the musicians that I meet are cooking and just into food. They’re always touring and they watch Food Network in the hotel rooms or they like to cook on their days off to do something totally different. I love being able to be around the musicians and chat with them about food. I also love seeing live music.
I haven’t been to Louisville in three years, so it’ll be good to be back and see Chef Ed Lee. That’s always my highlight of coming down. Obviously, there’s a whole bunch of other chefs, but he’s always my top visit. As soon as I see him, I feel like I’m officially in Louisville.
More and more festivals are combining music and culinary demonstrations with celebrity chefs. Do you have a dream Rockstar cooking collaboration?
I actually got to meet Dave Grohl at Bourbon & Beyond in 2019. I would love to cook with him because I think it would be so much fun because he’s just so chill. He’d probably have a beer in his hand and we’d just be cooking and jamming in the kitchen. That would be probably be my dream.
But there are so many others. I love so many different kinds of music. I love pop and I love soul. I’ve been a Hall and Oates fan my whole life. One dream would be that I’d be in the middle of Daryl Hall and John Oates and they would be the sous chefs.
I also have a newfound respect for Sheryl Crow, which is late in the game. But I was watching her documentary recently and there’s so much about her that I learned that I didn’t know. And I think it’d be cool to cook with her and her kids.
Do you have a favorite Bourbon?
Well, I can easily get away with this because I’m a tequila girl. I actually had the great fortune of doing the cooking at the Master’s Tournament this year. I tried a bourbon called WhistlePig and I really liked it. I don’t drink a lot of bourbon or whiskey, but I really enjoyed that one. I like to cook with whiskey. I don’t usually drink it.
What’s your favorite dish to cook with whiskey or bourbon?
Oh, I love making a whiskey or bourbon sauce for bread pudding. It’s just so good, like a whiskey custard sauce.
What musical acts are looking forward to seeing at bourbon and beyond?
Oh, my God, who aren’t I looking forward to seeing? I really wanted to cook with Yola but it didn’t work out. I work with a charity here in New York called God’s Love We Deliver and they do a concert every year. I got to see her there and she just blew me away, it was emotional.
I’ve been working with them since 2009. They’re just such good people and they just do amazing things. And honestly, out of all of the things that random things that I do in my life, whenever I do anything with them, it is hands down and the most rewarding thing.
For more information on Bourbon & Beyond festival and tickets, visit the festival’s official site.