Amanda Lopez-Castanon is our Food Innovation Center Director. She’s the lady on the left in the picture below. The picture is of the judges for the first Rainier Beach Grill Off Held at Beer Sheva Park. It was the third in a series of gatherings there to promote the development of a RB waterfront at Beer Sheva Park with a 50’x150′ paved boardwalk.

Anyway Amanda does much more than judge culinary arts contest. She has a history of running large scale food service venues. It’s this experience, and the fact she’s a great cook,  that excited RBAC’s leadership as we sought skilled workers to help develop the “Food Innovation Center” in Rainier Beach. Amanda has been at RBAC for almost three months. Her official title is director of the Food Innovation Center. Which is a project that being incorporated from the neighborhood plan many years ago.A facility designed around  some programs that will help community members learn how to start a business, give them a space to support their food business She hails from Lafayette, LA. She came to Seattle after living in Los Angeles for a number of years. She wanted to try something new and moved to Seattle. In her free time she likes to play soccer with her son and husband. She loves spending time with her family. She loves cooking and getting creative with food! She likes to work in her yard, do DIY projects in her house, and dinner parties. If she could eat one food for the rest of her life it would be Pho. If it was her last meal she would have a fried chicken dinner.  Her favorite book is Native Son especially as she got older and grew to understand it better. One of her favorite places to travel to is Mexico. It’s a big country with lots to explore. The cultures, climates , and foods are different. She also like Europe because there is a lot of history there. She believes working at RBAC can contribute a lot to her life and the work she does. RBAC is community focused and she has always been a person that wants to connect with her community. She is enjoying her time at RBAC.