Karen Solomon has been a well-published food writer for over a decade. In addition to Asian Pickles, she’s also author of Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It and Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It (Ten Speed Press/Random House). Additionally, she’s the author of The Cheap Bastard’s Guide to San Francisco (Globe Pequot Press), contributing author to Chow! San Francisco Bay Area: 300 Affordable Places for Great Meals & Good Deals (Sasquatch Press), and a former contributing editor to Zagat Survey: San Francisco Bay Area Restaurants.
Her edible musings on DIY cooking, the San Francisco restaurant scene, sustainable food programs, culinary trends, food history, and recipe development have appeared in Saveur.com, Fine Cooking, Prevention, Men’s Health, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Yoga Journal, Vegetarian Times, Food52, Organic Style, the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and elsewhere, all of which showcase the diversity of her word-wrangling plate. She’s a former blogger for The Blender, the Williams-Sonoma blog, the Bay Area Bites KQED Food Blog, and California Olive Ranch.
Karen has presented as a guest speaker at Boston University’s Gastronomy Program (September, 2011) and at the 2009 Epicurean Classic in Michigan. She presents regularly at the annual Maker Faire and at fermentation festivals across the country. She’s the former organizer and host of the Jam It Salon, a quarterly DIY “show and taste” at 18 Reasons (2009-2011) and a former organizer and host of the Baby Food Swap (2010). She has served as a judge for both the Eat Real Festival Contest and the Good Food Awards many times. Karen is also a culinary concierge of her beloved SF Mission District through eating/walking tour company Edible Excursions. And in her free time, she’s also a teacher of corporate classes, private classes, and public classes specializing in food crafting, urban homesteading, DIY kitchen projects, condiments, and food preservation. Come to her for an expert on pickles, fermentation, jams, charcuterie, canning, smoking, drying, and countless other kitchen projects.
Radio appearances include many stints on The Splendid Table talking about Japanese pickles, homemade ketchup, bacon making, and my recipe for Chocolate Fudge Pops. I’ve also been on KQED’s Forum, the KFOG morning show, Edible Escapes, and On the Menu Radio (listen here).
Karen’s culinary influences come from a variety of sources. While teaching English in Japanese schools and traveling throughout Asia, she had ample time to learn the satisfaction and simplicity of Japanese home cooking. And from the time she could stand on a stool and stir, Karen always enjoyed cooking alongside her mother to make chicken soup, kugel, stuffed cabbage, and other comfort foods of her Eastern European heritage. Most recently, Karen’s cooking has become more project-based and crafty, taking on homemade, improved flavors where mass production tends to dominate. She is dedicated to food preservation, as well as eating locally, sustainably, seasonally, and supporting a judicious and delicious food system.
Karen currently resides in San Francisco’s Mission district with her partner, her sons, and her canine cohorts, Snickers and Ginger.