The Stunning Transformation Of Amanda Freitag

Fans of "Chopped" undoubtedly know Amanda Freitag. But the chef has had a long and impressive career leading up to her mainstay position as a judge of the epic Food Network show. From cooking with her grandparents and exploring her love of the culinary arts in a high school home economics class to attending the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Freitag has led quite an accomplished career since graduating (via Food Network).

Freitag was born in May of 1972 in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, per Celebtap. From an early age, Freitag's family could see her affinity for cooking. That's why everyone encouraged her to pursue her passion, including her grandparents, who she particularly enjoyed cooking with as she grew up (via Food Network). By the time she reached high school, Freitag had enrolled in her school's home economics courses which allowed her to learn even more about cooking. By the time she graduated from high school, she clearly had a mind for going into the culinary arts professionally. That's why she enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America at the behest of her grandparents.

Freitag worked with tons of amazing chefs

Upon graduating from culinary school, Freitag worked as a line cook at Vong for Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, according to the Culinary Institute of America. After that, she moved on to Verbena for Diane Forley, where she ultimately became the chef de cuisine by 1994 (via Celebrity Net Worth). Under the famous chef Diane Forley, Freitag mastered the art of cooking seasonally. She then spent a short period working in Paris at Arpège with chef Alain Passard, as well as other notable restaurants (via Food Network). But it was under Passard that Freitag truly learned to use fresh ingredients and use everything that she had at her disposal.

It was after such a varied career progression that the Food Network reached out to Freitag. With such a diverse and impressive resume, Freitag was skilled enough and could move between so many styles of cooking that she was likely a prime candidate for the massive network. Freitag would make a great contestant on a Food Network show, but little did she know she would actually go on to become a judge for the network.

This is how her career was impacted by the Food Network

Freitag's first experience with the Food Network was competing against Bobby Flay on "Iron Chef America" (via Culinary Institute of America). However, her on-camera personality must have resonated with audiences because Freitag went on to become a television personality. She then was asked to host "American Diner Revival" alongside Ty Pennington and has also presented on the Cooking Channel's "Unique Eats." However, most viewers know the celebrity chef through her long-time seat at the judges table of "Chopped." 

But these shows were only scratching the surface of her impressive career. Freitag has also appeared on tons of other series, like "Cooks vs. Cons," "Rachael Ray's Kids Cook-Off," "Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off" and "All-Star Academy" (via TV Guide). The cook has also appeared on "Chopped: Sweets Showdown" and " The Next Iron Chef." You can also see her on "Chopped Junior," "Chopped After Hours" and "Disney Dream Cruise with Food Network" among many other guest appearances on television shows. Clearly Freitag's big break with the Food Network became a lucrative on-air career for the chef. However, a busy shooting schedule hasn't kept Freitag from achieving additional accomplishments. Even if she isn't working in a restaurant these days, Freitag has more than enough projects to keep her busy.

She continues to be active in the culinary world

Apart from her numerous kitchen experiences and her time on television series, the famous chef has also become an avid saleswoman. She has written a successful cookbook and has also developed her own line of spices and seasonings that fans can purchase from her website (via Amanda Freitag). Though Freitag has not created tons of product lines like some other chefs, there is plenty of room for her to grow her entrepreneurial business.

In 2018, she was also given an Augie Award by the Culinary Institute of America at their yearly Leadership Awards ceremony (via Culinary Institute of America). It seems that all of her hard work has paid off because Freitag is currently worth a staggering $3 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. While she is admired for her glamorous looks by some Redditors, she has also earned the respect of many chefs and culinary experts. It's no wonder her career has turned heads.