I’ve always had a poetic view of food. Hunger-enticing aromas swirling about my place at the table and causing a most soul-filled joy. With the first bite, I pause, relishing the beauty of the flavors dancing on my tongue. Food is the element that brings us to the table, where life is lived and memories are made. ~Karista Bennett
For me, culinary school was more than just learning how to cook, it was a door that opened my eyes to the beauty and soul-filling joy that fresh, local, delicious food brings to life.
I’ve come a long way since those early days as a new chef. After moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2002, I put my culinary skills to the test and began working as a private chef, freelance food writer and local food and farming community advocate in Seattle, Washington.
In 2013, another move took us down the road a few miles to the beautiful Willamette Valley in Oregon. At that time, I decided to jump in full-time into the delicious world of food writing and recipe development.
During the early years of my career, I developed and taught culinary classes for the IACP Award-winning culinary school PCC Cooks in Seattle, Washington.
In 2013, I was selected to be a DaVinci Wine Storyteller, Culinary Arts category. From 2011- 2015, each year DaVinci Wine chose four professionals from the world of art, journalism, photography and culinary arts to travel to Italy and learn about the creation and history of DaVinci Wine. I had the glorious opportunity to visit local grape farmers, wine artisans and specialists, along with a handful of culinarians that make this region of the world so delicious. I often say, I left a little piece of my heart in Italy.
I’m a regular on-air recipe expert for KATU Channel 2, AM Northwest Morning Show in Portland, Oregon, and On-Air Talent for the Oregon Blueberry Commission and my first book, The Oregon Farm Table Cookbook, 101 Home-Grown Recipes from the Pacific Wonderland with Countryman Press is available now. You will find it HERE.
Currently, I’m writing my second book, The Perfect Catch, 100 Fresh and Flavorful Seafood Recipes That Anyone Can Cook.
When I’m not writing or cooking, I can be found outside hiking the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my cattle dog, Gus, reading assorted British mysteries, or sipping a lovely glass of wine.
Through my culinary journey, I’ve come to realize that one of my greatest joy’s is to connect people with smile-inducing recipes that embrace each delicious moment.
Wishing you light, love and good health,
“Karista’s recipes and photos are hands-down delicious. She is always on time and delivers mouth watering photos that our reader’s absolutely love. Her recipes are for everyone and can easily be followed. Working with Karista is a joy, she always leaves me hungry and excited for the next feature!”
– Lindsay Fournier, Design Director, Home By Design magazine
“Chef Karista Bennett is a consummate professional and triple threat. She has a culinary knowledge that spans global cuisines, to classic entrees reinterpreted for today’s lifestyle, to a passion for transforming locally sourced ingredients into fresh inspirations. She combines her talent for cooking with her photographic skills and ability to style and present her recipes into vibrant food vignettes that stimulate our visual senses. And to top it off, she has a beautiful personality always accented with her smile. Her recipes and contributions continually elevate the level of food quality our readers have come to expect. I am honored to be able to work with her.”
Danny de la Cruz — Publisher & Founding Editor, VRAI Magazine
“Karista is a dream to work with! The quality of her recipes and photographs is top-notch. And although we don’t have to give her much direction, she takes direction easily and is incredibly gracious about it. She is always happy to provide multiple menu and image options for every issue of Home By Design, and she’s timely to boot. But the icing on the cake (or the Parmesan on the pasta) of working with Karista is that she is genuine, positive, and caring—even over e-mail. It’s such a joy to work with people who make my job easier, and Karista is definitely one of them! “
Maresa Giovannini – Editor, By Design Publishing
Karista’s creative, client-focused approach to projects and professionalism make her a joy to work with. In working with her on a number of recipe development and photography projects on behalf of a client, I’ve found that she truly “gets it” and is a wonderful partner.
Jenna Buhagiar – Vice President, FleishmanHillard – Food, Beverage and Agribusiness
“Karista is a wonderful chef whose passion and love for food and her family comes through in every recipe. Her recipes are not only delicious, but they are accessible to those of us who are not gifted with culinary talents. I appreciate that she makes them fun and easy to understand. I have tried several of her recipes and they are always a hit in our house. Karista is great at answering any cooking or recipe questions and is very helpful in providing ideas for meal planning and/or entertaining. “
– Traci K, Private Chef Client
“Karista is my go-to chef and cooking expert! Not only is she creative and knowledgeable about making delicious and healthy food, she’s also one of the kindest people I know. She has a passion for food and people. She is just a joy to work with.
She has catered for us (to rave reviews from some tough food critics), given my daughter and her friends cooking lessons, and assisted me with menu planning (for family and company) and managing a food budget. When she moved out of our area, I was devastated, however, I still visit her blog at least weekly for her outstanding, no-fail recipes! “
– Michele S, Private Chef Client