Raised in Lancaster, New York, Amanda exhibited a curiosity of food at a young age. The youngest of six, Amanda was the only child that showed an interest in learning to cook, so she spent a lot of time in the kitchen with her mother. Here she learned how to make the family recipes that were passed down from generation to generation. After graduating from high school in 2007, Amanda attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Of Southern Italian heritage, Amanda jumped at an opportunity to travel to Italy with the rest of her class. This experience opened her eyes to way other cultures produce and grow their food. She was impressed by how much the local communities respected and followed the farming practices taught to them by their ancestors, as well as the respect they held for their livestock. Once back in the states, she continued her education, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts Management in 2011. She then moved to North Carolina in order to be closer to her family that had since relocated to the area. Immediately she began working at bu•ku. Hired as a Sous Chef, she was promoted to Executive Chef in 2014. As the Chef, she orders local meats, poultry, eggs, and produce whenever possible. Indeed, the menu at bu•ku makes several changes each year based on growing seasons and available foods.