Karen first realized that she had to learn to cook when her mother heated up a can of Chef-Boy-Ardee spaghetti in a pot of boiling water—without opening the can. Bang! The promise of a Neapolitan dinner exploded onto the white kitchen walls and ceiling. Karen, aged 6, quickly taught herself to make scrambled eggs in a little sauté pan. She made the full commitment to become a professional chef when she was old enough to order a drink in a bar.
After graduating from the California Culinary Academy, Karen headed back to Hong Kong, where she was born, and got a job with the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. She honed her cooking skills at this world-renowned establishment by working in every kitchen there. She made everything from crumpets and rose petal jam to steak tartar to chocolate truffles to airy soufflés. After her stint at the hotel, Karen was hired to open a Spanish restaurant, and then a New World wine bar.
After seven years in Hong Kong, Karen returned to San Francisco ready to embrace her love of food in a new way by working for several celebrity chefs on their TV cooking shows, including Martin Yan, Joanne Weir, and Molly Katzen. In spite of her involvement in the Bay Area food scene, Karen longed for a satiety that she hadn’t yet found in the kitchen.
Returning to school to study holistic nutrition at Bauman College was the missing link she had been craving. Learning how to use food for health and healing, and enjoy eating without guilt or suffering debilitating diseases was the solution. What a concept! Now she combines her love of cooking with nutritional wisdom to help others achieve optimal health by relishing every bite.
Karen is also a cooking instructor and has not only taught many men to cook healthy and delicious meals, but has given them the confidence to have women eating out of their hands.
Karen’s philosophy on cooking and nutrition is intimately linked to the state of the environment. She believes that in order to save mankind from self-destruction, we must learn to develop a gourmand’s palate, with sustainability in mind.
Karen’s innate passion for food and knowledge of nutrition, combined with her ability to communicate in an entertaining fashion, make her an indispensible guide who should be read and enjoyed by both men and women who are longing to delight in the powerful human actions of eating and having sex, free of obsession, guilt, and shame and instead, full of nourishment and joy.
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