Kristen Hartke

Food and beverage writer & editor

United States of America

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.

Working as a freelance writer for over twenty years, Kristen has written about arts, education, and health, but has been primarily focused as a food and beverage writer for more than a decade, using her professional restaurant background to explore the terroir of ingredients and the culinary landscape of specific regions. Her most recent work has appeared in the Washington Post, Washington Blade, Flavor Magazine, Edible DC, and the Culinary Trends Tracking Series. She also serves as website editor for celebrity chef Carla Hall.

Philly's New Pay-What-You-Can Restaurant Brings Everyone To The Table

It's 6 p.m. on a Wednesday night and there's a line out the door at EAT Café. Inside, executive chef and restaurant manager Donnell Jones-Craven is busy plating up salads and burgers, but he pauses to sprint out into the dining room. "I appreciate so much that you're all here for dinner tonight!"

Washington Post
The secrets of a vegan bakery that entices customers to drive across the state

Every month or so, Dwane Bowen drives two hours across Pennsylvania to buy cookies, brownies and sticky buns from a vegan bakery in Bethlehem - and he's not even vegan. "A friend brought me here about a year ago," says Bowen, "and I said, 'It better be damn good if we're driving two hours just to get a cookie.'
A $112,000 White Truffle?! At Auction, Philly Embraces Fungi Mania

Bowtie-bedecked auctioneer Samuel Freeman was faced with the unusual task of convincing a crowd to buy something he admits he knows nothing about: the Tartufo Bianco d'Alba, or Alba White Truffle. "I've never auctioned food before," Freeman says, "and I'd never even eaten a truffle until two days ago."

Washington Post
Why college students should ditch the dining plan and learn to cook

The start of the school year brings a serious dilemma for today's college students, far beyond which major or roommate to choose: whether to invest in the dining plan or pick up a spatula. With rising college costs dogging families, the decision can have a considerable financial impact.

Washington Post
Can't get to Cleveland or Philly? Bring a taste of the conventions to the table.

When you mention to anyone outside Washington that people here host convention watch parties, the immediate response is, inevitably, silence. And then, "Really?" It should not be surprising that we in the nation's capital are political junkies. Our children are raised on C-SPAN, and our dogs sport collars patterned with tiny donkeys or elephants.

Washington Post
How Alzheimer's turned a daughter into her mom's mom

Loretta Veney remembers with perfect clarity the moment the word "dementia" was spoken by her mother's doctor in 2006. "My heart really sank, but I tried to put on a brave face for my mom." Upon hearing the diagnosis, Doris Woodward immediately turned to her daughter and said, "That's bad, isn't it?", to which Veney replied, "Yes, but there are worse things."

Washington Post
In a military kitchen, female chefs show guts and glory

Some may question why an Air Force general needs one personal chef, let alone a staff of three, but Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Medeiros is quick to defend why her work, cooking for the second-highest-ranking officer in the U.S. military, is important: "Food is a common ground for anyone in the world," the chef says.

Washington Post
How to make vegan mac and cheese a comforting crowd-pleaser

When the organizers of a vegan macaroni-and-cheese contest in Baltimore in February sent instructions to contestants, they suggested bringing enough samples to feed a crowd of 500 people. Instead, "we stopped counting at 1,000," said Rissa Miller, who helps organize social events for a group called Baltimore Vegan Drinks.

Washington Post
The key fact Americans are finally starting to understand about cheese

For some people, the summer solstice signals the true start of the season, but for Sophie Slesinger, it's the release of Grayson cheese. "It's the kind of thing cheese mongers get excited about," says Slesinger, the cheese specialist at Blue Duck Tavern in Foggy Bottom. "You'll hear everyone buzzing about it: 'It's June.

Washington Post
Why honey may be the best expression of local flavor you can find, anywhere

If you're fixing a piece of toast at chef David Guas's house and reaching for some honey to slather on it, you'll find a bit more than just a teddy-bear-shaped squeeze bottle. "I've got at least 10 jars of honey on the counter," says Guas, "and probably another 30 in the pantry."

Washington Post
Why your next homemade pizza should hail from the Midwest, not New York

Sorry, Chicago, this story isn't about you. Or, to be more accurate, Chicago has a part to play, but not with its famous deep-dish pizza, characterized by a cornmeal-and-flour dough that resembles a pie crust, filled with layers of cheese, vegetables and meat, and topped with a thick layer of tomato sauce.

Washington Post
You want to cook. You need to cook. Now you can't see. Here's what to do.

Taught to be fearless in the kitchen by watching Julia Child on television back in the 1960s, Priscilla Elfrey is no slouch when it comes to cooking, from classic French cheese souffles to West Indian callalloo, and she especially loves preparing the pasta dishes that she fell in love with while traveling across Italy alone when she was 60.

Washington Post
Trust us. You can use the liquid from a can of beans to make dessert.

Imagine being a vegan in France and craving île flottante, or floating island, a dessert of fluffy puffs of meringue nestled in a sea of crème anglaise. Joël Roessel, a 34-year-old opera tenor, was riding on a bus near Paris and wondering how he could replace the main ingredient, so he asked himself, "What would disgust me as much as a raw egg white?"