Amy Riolo is an internationally recognized expert known for fusing the worlds of cuisine, culture, and history in her work. An award – winning author, popular lecturer, food historian, food writer, culinary consultant, and cooking instructor, she was dubbed the “Cook to the Kings” by a Cairo newspaper in 2008.
A successful culinary consultant, Amy enjoys developing concepts, menus, action plans, recipes, training seminars and guides, and themes for corporations, restaurants, and hotels. She has consulted and worked as a spokesperson for international business owners on bakeries, cafes, restaurants and stores. Her clients have included The Association of Dressings & Sauces, Horseradish Information Council, The US Endocrine Society, Harris Teeter Supermarkets, The US Apple Association, Patak’s, Roma Grill, LLC, the Edris Group, many embassies, and others. Amy is also a Guest Curator for museums such as the Smithsonian Institution and the Walters Art Gallery where she incorporates sensory components like scent, touch, and taste into exhibits. She also works with curators to create menus, lectures, and décor which represent the theme of new collections.
Amy’s first book, Arabian Delights; Recipes & Princely Entertaining Ideas from the Arabian Peninsula was chosen as one of the “16 Volumes Worth Staining” by the Washington Post (Capital Books, 2007). Her second book Nile Style; Egyptian Cuisine and Culture (Hippocrene Books) won the World Gourmand Award for “Best Arab Cuisine Book” in the United States in 2009. Her most recent book, The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook, (American Diabetes Association) was released in March 2010 and has won the 2011 Nautilus Book Award. Her work also appears in the Food Cultures of the World encyclopedia, Aliza Green’s The Fishmonger’s Apprentice and Sheilah Kaufman’s Upper Crusts, and The Canola Gourmet. Amy’s fourth book: The Cuisine of Karabakh; Recipes, Memories, and Dining Traditions from Azerbaijan’s Cradle of Culture will be released in summer 2011.
Amy’s popular lectures range in topics and include everything from Middle Eastern business and dining etiquette to the cuisine and culture of all Mediterranean cuisines. She has been an invited guest speaker for The Library of Congress, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, The Smithsonian Institution, The Fulbright Commission, The National Museum of African Art, The Walters Art Museum, The Kennedy Center, The Textile Museum, The Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt, The Embassy of Yemen, Welcome to Washington International, Montgomery College, Les Dames D’Escoffier, The Culinary Historians of Washington, Montgomery College, The Bibliotecha Alexandrina, The Egyptian Cultural and Education Bureau, The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, The Baltimore-Luxor-Alexandria Sister City Committee and the Mycological Association of Washington, DC.
Amy also makes frequent appearances on numerous television and radio programs both in the United States and abroad including Fox TV, CBS, Montgomery and Fairfax County TV, Nile TV, The Travel Channel, Martha Stewart Living Radio, WHYY, Abu Dhabi Television, and many others. She also develops recipes, writes content, and hosts instructional cooking videos for The Association of Dressings and Sauces, The Horseradish Information Council, Harris Teeter, US Apple Association, and others.
Amy writes freelance articles for Cooking Light Magazine and her work has appeared in the USA Today, The Washington Post, CNN.com, The Wall Street Journal, Cornell Alumni Magazine, Popular Anthropology Magazine, The National, and Egyptian newspapers and hundreds of blogs. She is also the author of a blog called Dining with Diplomats (www.diningwithdiplomats.blogspot.com).
A graduate of Cornell University, Amy has experience in vocational, recreational, and children’s instruction, as well as corporate team building and cultural/culinary events. Her knowledge of the Italian, French, Spanish, and Arabic languages has enabled her to interpret many cultures and cuisines with intimacy and ease. Her goal is to teach her philosophy of cooking and dining with both pleasure and health in mind. She regularly teaches cooking classes at Sur la Table in Arlington, Virginia, CulinAerie in Washington, DC, Open Kitchen in Falls Church, VA and for private organizations and parties.
Amy is a member of The International Association of Culinary Professionals, Culinary Historians of Washington, Les Dames d’Escoffier (Global Culinary Initiative), Cornell Club of Washington (Restaurant Series Planning Committee), Baltimore – Luxor – Alexandria Sister City Committee (chairperson), and the World Digital Organization in Luxor, Egypt (Honorary Member). Amy is based in the Washington DC, area and leads culinary tours to both the Mediterranean and Middle East. She is currently working on 3 new restaurant concepts, 2 new books, and a television show pilot.