Raised on Larousse Gastronomique, Kristen Hartke first gained practical professional experience in the food industry by working both in the front and back of the house in several central Florida restaurants before going on to receive degrees in photography and fine arts, with a concentration in art criticism, at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C.
Writing frequently for the Washington Post and NPR's The Salt, Kristen's work has also appeared in Heated, Better Homes & Gardens, Eating Well, Rachael Ray In Season, Sift, Flavor Magazine, Foodshed Magazine, the Washington Blade, Loudoun Magazine, and the Culinary Trends Tracking Series, and she was previously managing editor of Edible DC. As a longtime vegetarian and vegan, she's particularly enjoyed working on stories that focus on plantbased foods, from vegan mac 'n' cheese to aquafaba desserts.
An experienced recipe developer and food stylist, Kristen was the culinary producer for chef Carla Hall from 2015-2022, working with her on recipes, television appearances, and events, including a dinner showcasing soul food at the James Beard House. Kristen has also worked on projects with Jacques Pepin, Patti LaBelle, Chadwick Boyd, and Virginia Willis, among others; she tested all 125 recipes for Joe Yonan's cookbook, "Cool Beans" and is currently developing and testing recipes for his next cookbook "Mastering The Art of Plantbased Cooking".
A member of Les Dames d'Escoffier International, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, and the New York Women's Culinary Alliance, Kristen previously played with cocktail creations at Good Booze and wrote food essays at Cooking on the Fly. She's also an experienced conference panelist and moderator.
After living in Washington, D.C.'s Capitol Hill neighborhood for many years, where she raised her family and began her career, Kristen has now relocated to New York City, where she and her husband, journalist Rick Weber, can once again share family dinners with their NY-based daughter.
Kristen's Fun Facts:
• I learned how to make biscuits while working at Kentucky Fried Chicken when I was 16 — you can learn more about why I took that summer job in this story I wrote for the Washington Post.
• The most "Washington" thing I've done was to work at the White House on the communications and speechwriting team for the Clinton Administration in 1992-93.
• My brother Stephen Hartke won a Grammy Award in 2013, which I think is super cool!