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Dev Amadeo

Meet the culinary wizard and mother who knows that food is power

It’s been 15 years since Dev Amadeo met the two great loves of her life: her daughter, Marianna, and in a twist of fate, cooking. Marianna was born with Aicardi-Goutieres, an extremely rare genetic disease whose best weapon is careful diet and nutrition. Dev had no choice—she took charge and taught herself everything she could about food and nutrients. Spoiler: What started as a chore became her calling.

Today Dev works as a full-time foodie, sharing her inspiring story and innovative recipes on her blog, Plum, and its adjacent Instagram handle. “You know that feeling when you are having such a great time and you just want to share it with the world?” she asks us. That joy is palpable in every stunning image she captures. See for yourself.

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On the best kitchen investment you can make. “Your life will be so much easier if you have a well-stocked pantry. I’m talking about different kinds of oils, vinegars, herbs, spices, canned beans, pastas—things that don’t spoil fast so you can keep them for a long time. All you’ll need to create something delicious are a few extra fresh ingredients.”

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On the science behind her gorgeous images. “I can’t live without VSCO, as probably most of IG app lovers do. It has so many options to help you convey the story you want, and I love the fact that I can manage how much of the filter will affect the photo. I edit most of my photos on the computer, then correct or enhance them in my phone and apply a VSCO filter. My favorites are A6 and F2 for when I’m feeling romantic.”

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On making a misleading first impression. “I look like a very serious person, but I can be quite clownish around my closest friends and family. Also, I swear too much…and secretly wish I could do my makeup like some of the Kardashians.”