Amanny Ahmad is an artist, chef, forager, ikebana enthusiast, writer, food activist and traveler based in New York City. Born in Utah to Palestinian immigrants, Ahmad spent her early life traveling back-and-forth between the southwest and her family’s village in the West Bank, where her interest in foraging began, evolving as a way of preserving the culinary traditions of her family. Since then, Ahmad, who is a self-taught chef, has studied culinary traditions and wild food ways in Italy, Mexico, Palestine, and North America, in an effort to record and help preserve indigenous culinary traditions and methods of survival.
Ahmad’s work earned her a month-long residency at dimes in new york city during the summer of 2017, where her menus, musical playlists, and installation details reinterpreted Palestinian food and culture. Proceeds from this residency were donated to the Palestinian Heirloom Seed Library (PHSL) in Battir, a village near bethlehem. In fall 2017 Ahmad hosted The Asymmetrical Table, along with Reem Assil, a Bay Area based Palestinian chef. Proceeds from that dinner were also donated to the PHSL. In the summer of 2017, Ahmad was the Guest Chef at Gavin Brown and Rirkrit Tiravanija's restaurant 'UncleBrother' in Hancock, New York. In addition to numerous other chef residencies, Ahmad has also had the privilege of working as a private chef for families and individuals in and around the New York area, and has consulted on menus at some of New York City’s top restaurants.
A graduate of the Cooper Union in New York City, with a focus on immaterial and conceptual works, ahmad's love and respect for the natural world led her to work with plants, and eventually, plants as food, as vehicles for communicating ideas about how we can relate to each other and the world around us in more conscientious and meaningful ways. to ahmad, food is the only universal language, and is paramount to communicating with all people regardless of class, age, spoken language, and education, et al. while ahmad’s current focus is foraging, researching the foods and plants of indigenous cultures, she also brings her aesthetic and unique perspective to her craft, and considers herself an artist above all.
When sourcing ingredients, she relies on local markets, relationships with farmers, and products produced seasonally, organically and ethically. sustainability and consciousness of consumption at every step of the process are a priority for her.