Amanda Cohen named NAIT’s 2017 chef in residence

Published on February 21, 2017

Noted vegetarian chef is the owner of New York’s award-winning Dirt Candy restaurant

Celebrated chef, restaurateur, and television personality Amanda Cohen is NAIT’s 2017 Chef in Residence.

The Chef in Residence program, now in its ninth year, provides students in NAIT’s Department of Culinary Arts and Professional Food Studies with a rare opportunity to learn firsthand from the best chefs in North America. This year’s residency runs from March 6-10, 2017.

The Department of Culinary Arts and Professional Food Studies is giving away four pairs of tickets to an exclusive luncheon which takes place March 9. Cohen will work with students to prepare the meal. The online contest runs until Sunday, Feb. 28.

The Hokanson Chef in Residence program kicked off with Canadian celebrity chef Rob Feenie in 2009, followed by David Adjey in 2010, Susur Lee in 2011, Massimo Capra in 2012, Chris Cosentino in 2013, Lynn Crawford in 2014 Michael Stadtländer in 2015 and Vikram Vij in 2016. The program was made possible as a result of a generous donation from John and Susan Hokanson.


  • Born in Ottawa and raised in Toronto, Cohen moved to New York City to attend university and never left.
  • She is the chef and owner of Dirt Candy, an award-winning vegetable-only restaurant on New York’s Lower East Side.
  • Dirt Candy became the first vegetarian restaurant in 17 years to receive 2 stars from the New York Times. It was recognized by the Michelin Guide 5 years in a row, and won awards from Gourmet Magazine, the Village Voice, and many others.
  • Cohen was the first vegetarian chef to compete on Iron Chef America and her comic book cookbook, Dirt Candy: A Cookbook, is the first graphic novel cookbook to be published in North America


Amanda Cohen, 2017 Chef in Residence 
“It demonstrates a truly forward-thinking vision for NAIT to dedicate this residency to vegetarian cuisine. Vegetables are often-neglected in the restaurant world, and so I’m looking forward to coming to Edmonton, sharing my knowledge with students and learning from them as well.”

Perry Michetti, NAIT School of Skilled Trades 
“It about time we bring in someone who is really doing it right with vegetables. Amanda’s food is extremely interesting and the flavour profiles are brilliant. I’m sure she will inspire both students and faculty. Amanda’s a great example of a Canadian who has shown you can make it through dedication and hard work.”


Chef in Residence program

About NAIT

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and trades. With nearly 60,000 credit and non-credit students and a 95 per cent employer satisfaction rate, NAIT grads are essential to Alberta’s prosperity. Known for hands-on, technology-based learning, NAIT engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. Recognized as one of Alberta’s top employers, NAIT provides outstanding returns on investment for its graduates, partners, the provincial government and the people of Alberta.

Shopping Cart Quick View
Open Shopping Cart