Sharing culture, history, and nutrition through cuisine

"Amy Riolo is a true guardian of the techniques and inherent goodness of the Mediterranean lifestyle! Here food and her philosophy are an absolute pleasure to read and to consume."

Chef Jason Roberts


As an award – winning, best-selling, author, chef, television personality, cuisine and culture expert, and educator, Amy Riolo is known for sharing history, culture, and nutrition through global cuisine. A graduate of Cornell University, Amy is considered a culinary thought leader who enjoys changing the way we think about food and the people who create it.

Amy is a food historian, culinary anthropologist and Mediterranean Diet advocate who makes frequent appearances on numerous television and radio programs both in the United States and abroad, including Fox TV, ABC, CBS, NBC, The Hallmark Channel, Nile TV, The Travel Channel, Martha Stewart Living Radio, and Abu Dhabi Television.  She also created and appeared weekly in ninety second cooking videos entitled “Culture of Cuisine” which air on nationally syndicated news shows on 28 different channels across the United States, totaling a reach of over 300 million  people.  One of her videos reached a record of four million hits.

Amy’s seventh book, The Italian Diabetes Cookbook was released on January 12, 2016 and was the #1 New Release on Amazon.com. In April 2015 she released The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook which earned multiple 5 star reviews on Examiner.com and Amazon as well as many other positive endorsements. Her third book, The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook, (American Diabetes Association) was released in March 2010, received a starred PW review, won the 2011 Nautilus Book Award and was named “Best. Diabetes. Cookbook. Ever. “ by DiabetesMine.com. Amy’s second book Nile Style; Egyptian Cuisine and Culture (Hippocrene Books) won the World Gourmand Award for "Best Arab Cuisine Book" in the United States and was just released in a second edition. Her 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).

Amy also contributed to The Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia and co-wrote The Al Tiramisu Restaurant Cookbook: An Elevated Approach to Authentic Italian Cuisine with award-winning chef/restaurateur Luigi Diotaiuti. She and Chef Luigi also created a demo for a television series. The duo, named “The Next Big Thing” in the culinary world by Elle Spain, also created a video documentary entitled The Beauty of Basilicata at the James beard Foundation. They also led a culinary cruise from Istanbul to Athens on Oceania Cruises in October 2014 and create culinary events, workshops, seminars, and cooking classes together.

Amy, an American of Calabrian descent, was recently awarded the Wise Women 2015 award from The National Organization of Italian American Women. Her work has appeared in numerous print media including USA Today, Cooking Light magazine, The Washington Post, CNN.com, The Wall Street Journal, Gulf News, The Jerusalem Post Magazine, Popular Anthropology Magazine, Ambassador, The Examiner, The UAE National, and international newspapers and hundreds of blogs. Amy is also a Culinary Advisor for The Mediterranean Food Alliance. 

As a respected culinary diplomat, Amy has created menus, culinary ceremonies, and educational seminars for diplomats, international chefs, and world leaders, earning her the title “The Cook to the Kings” by a Cairo newspaper in 2008. She speaks English, Italian, French, Spanish, conversational Arabic, and is studying Greek.  Amy’s most recent gastronomic diplomacy events include the “Exploring Italy’s Influence on Cuisine and Culture’ in July 2015 which was sponsored by the International Visitors Center of Los Angeles and the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West. In September 2015, she presented “Culinary Diplomacy: Building Bridges through Global Cuisine” for the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy. Amy has also worked in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Culinary Partnership Program and chairs the Global Culinary Initiative program for Les Dames d’Escoffier.  

Amy is the author of a noted culinary/cultural blog which is known for promoting little known facts about global cuisine and the people who create them.  She has worked closely with former Egyptian Ambassador Sameh Shoukry in order to coordinate and appear in a Travel Channel "Bizarre Foods Embassy Row" which was loosely based on her blog.  Many of Amy’s books, recipes, and podcasts are used by universities and corporations to promote cultural pluralism. Amy enjoys judging Cultural Tourism DC’s annual Embassy Chef Challenge, and has worked with museum curators and events coordinators to create culturally appropriate receptions and culinary components to exhibits.  In one of her favorite media interviews, Amy was asked by CNN.com to create a fantasy wedding meal for Prince William.

Amy is frequently asked to lecture and give demonstrations on The Mediterranean Diet, culinary diplomacy, diabetes-friendly eating, and cuisine and culture at medical conferences, book fairs, universities, culinary symposiums, museums, embassies, fundraisers, libraries, and farmer’s markets on over three different continents, and five states in the USA. Last year her live audiences alone totaled 18,350 people. With the addition of podcasts, her popularity and viewership has grown immensely.

Amy is a guest speaker for:

  •  The Library of Congress
  • Georgetown University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • The US Endocrine Society (Culinary Stage at Annual Conference)
  • The National Italian American Foundation
  • National Geographic
  • The National Organization of Italian American Women
  • The International Association of Culinary Professionals
  • The Cornell University Entrepreneurial Network
  • The International Visitors Center of LA
  • The Italy America Chamber of Commerce
  • The Italian Cultural Institute
  • The Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy
  • Les Dames d’Escoffier
  • The Smithsonian Institution
  • The International Visitors Center of  Los Angeles
  • The Fulbright Commission
  • The National Museum of African Art
  • The Textile Museum
  • The Walters Art Museum
  • The Kennedy Center
  • Montgomery College
  • Sharjah International Book Fair
  • Abu Dhabi International Book Fair
  • The Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
  • The Embassy of Yemen
  • The Culinary Historians of Washington
  • The Library of Alexandria (Egypt)
  • as well as many other embassies, museums, and organizations.  

As a successful culinary consultant, Amy enjoys developing menus, concepts, action plans, recipes, training seminars and guides for corporations, restaurants, and hotels. She has consulted international business owners on bakeries, cafes, restaurants, and culinary stores where she taught vocational baking classes for thousands of pastry chefs. Amy has taught hundreds of recreational cooking classes in the Washington, DC area.  Internationally, Amy had led professional and recreational cooking classes in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, and the UAE, and leads culinary tours. She currently teaches cooking and baking classes at L’academie de Cuisine in Bethesda, MD.

Amy also uses her culinary expertise to represent private clients by hosting videos, satellite media tours, social media outreach, recipe development and television segments. She has also collaborated with medical organizations, associations, hospitals, and clinics to create has workshops, podcasts, cooking demonstrations, panel discussions and resource guides to teach doctors, medical professionals, and consumers how to eat with pleasure and health in mind. Using a model that she created for the U.S. Endocrine Society’s annual conference, Amy has been able to teach medical practitioners how to best inform their patients of the latest dietary guidelines, while offering delicious recipes and practical tips that can be easily implemented at home.

In addition to her professional work, Amy spends a great deal of her time supporting philanthropic efforts.  She is a member of The International Association of Culinary Professionals, Cornell Club DC, Les Dames d’Escoffier (Global Culinary Initiative Chair), Slow Food DC, The James Beard Foundation, The National Organization of Italian American Women, and the Culinary Historians of Washington.  Amy can often be found mentoring culinary students, teaching children’s cooking classes, and participating on panels for charity events. One of the highlights of her volunteering career was chairing the Baltimore Luxor Alexandria Sister City Committee which enabled her to obtain a grant to provide clean drinking water for a village outside of Luxor, Egypt. Amy is based in the Washington, DC area and travels extensively through the Mediterranean region.

 For more information on Amy Riolo and to schedule an interview contact jill@jilldykespr.com.