South Knoxville private chef teaches Italian cuisine at Ama.Mi Kitchen

Amalia Brusati di Settala was a fashion buyer in Milan for many years, but she began to feel exhausted and decided to change careers.

Brusati di Settala grew up in Italy watching his grandmothers, Angelina and Liliana, cook the family’s favorite regional dishes. So she enrolled in an intensive professional cooking program at the Food Genius Academy.

Six years ago, she met her husband, Jace Perkerson, who was attending a conference in Milan, and after years of back and forth, Brusati di Settala emigrated to the United States.

“It was a very romantic long distance story; he couldn’t move to Italy because of his job, so I decided to move to Knoxville, ”she said. The couple married in March 2020 and recently bought their first home together in South Knoxville.

Ama.Mi Kitchen's frittata di pasta is made with eggs, black pepper, Parmesan cheese and some leftover spaghetti.

Before leaving Italy, Brusati di Settala took evening classes at the Associazione Italiana Sommelier to learn how to pair the perfect glass of wine with a meal and to organize Airbnb dining experiences on weekends.

She started Ama.Mi. Kitchen in Knoxville. Ama is the abbreviation of Amalia and Mi for Milan, and ‘Amami’ is Italian for ‘love me’.

“I am a private chef and teach Italian cooking,” said Brusati di Settala. “I just worked as a consultant to create the menu for Osteria Stella, a new authentic Italian restaurant in Knoxville…

“Spreading my passion for Italian cuisine (beyond pasta and pizza) is my mission,” she said. “Sharing moments of cooking, having fun with hands full of flour, glasses full of wine and happy hearts, that’s what cooking means to me.”

Amalia Brusati di Settala and her husband Jace Perkerson attend an evening with family and friends at the Osteria Stella in June 2021.

Brusati di Settala enjoys nature and the outdoors in East Tennessee, and she has discovered a very supportive community here. “Milan is very competitive and there is not that much support between companies,” she said.

Cooking also helped relieve homesickness. “I cook at home as much as I can. The smells of food bring me back to my parents and grandparents, ”she said.

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