Kristen Hartke's career has included working both in the front and back of the house in several restaurants; writing on the communications team in the Clinton White House; culinary producing for celebrity chefs; managing a cooperative art gallery; working as a community organizer; co-authoring a children's book; and recipe testing and development for two cookbooks. She holds degrees in photography and fine arts, with a concentration in art criticism, from the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C. But what she truly loves is to learn about new things and share those stories.
Writing frequently for the Washington Post and NPR, Kristen's work has also appeared in Food & Wine, Heated, Better Homes & Gardens, Eating Well, Rachael Ray In Season, Sift, Flavor Magazine, Foodshed Magazine, the Washington Blade, and many others. She was previously managing editor of Edible DC, is a stringer for the Washington Post in New York City, and teaches Food Journalism at American University in Washington, DC.
As a longtime vegetarian and vegan, Kristen has often worked on both journalism and recipe development focused on plantbased foods, from vegan mac 'n' cheese to aquafaba desserts. She 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, Sapna Punjabi, and Virginia Willis, among others; she tested all 125 recipes for Joe Yonan's cookbook, "Cool Beans" and recently developed and tested recipes for his next cookbook "Mastering The Art of Plant Based Cooking".
A member of Les Dames d'Escoffier International, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and the Freelancers Union, 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 and has written on a range of topics including health, art and design, education, books, sports and politics.
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.
• Some people call me the "Recipe Whisperer" because I have a knack for figuring out the one or two small changes that can take a recipe to the next level.
• I co-authored a best-selling children's book called "Carla and the Christmas Cornbread" — you can find (and buy!) the book here or ask your favorite bookseller. And you won't see my name on the front cover — it's on the inside cover — but it's there ;)
• My brother Stephen Hartke won a Grammy Award in 2013, which I think is super cool!