Karen Leibowitz is an advocate, writer, and restaurateur seeking improvements to our food system. She is Executive Director of Zero Foodprint and its parent nonprofit, The Perennial Farming Initiative. Karen has co-written two cookbooks: Mission Street Food (with Anthony Myint) and Atelier Crenn (with Dominique Crenn) and her journalism has appeared in The New York Times, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and other publications. As co-founder of several award-winning and path-breaking restaurants (Mission Chinese Food, The Perennial, and Commonwealth), Karen was nominated for a James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurateur in 2019.

Karen lives in San Francisco, where she is working to build a more regenerative and equitable food world. 




SF Chronicle: “Remembering Mission Street Food, the Most Influential SF Restaurant of the Past Decade”

Edible SF: "How to Resist: In Times Like These, What's a Restaurant To Do?" (Cover Story)

Condé Nast: "The Daring 25 Most Intrepid People, Companies, and Innovations of 2016" 

Food & Wine: "Karen Leibowitz and Anthony Myint are Fighting Climate Change with The Perennial"

SF Chronicle: "Is this the Restaurant of the Future?"

Fast Company: "The Most Environmental Restaurant in the World Just Opened"

Eater SF: How The Perennial's Sustainable Model will Break the Restaurant Mold"

SF Chronicle: front page article ("The Perennial has the potential to highlight and encourage a new generation pushing for sustainability and addressing climate change.")

Washington Post: "Perennial wheat is an ecologist's dream; soon it will be what's for dinner" (2016)

FoodTank: "Greening the Restaurant Industry: an Interview with Karen Leibowitz"

Civil Eats "It’s clear the Perennial’s founders have done their homework" 2015

WIRED "For the founders of The Perennial, farm-to-table isn't enough"

San Francisco Magazine ("Karen Leibowitz and Anthony Myint are restaurateurs, but you could also describe them as breeders of culinary Trojan horses" 2015)

TakePart ("Myint and Leibowitz are asking themselves—and their industry—just how sustainable a restaurant can be" 2015)

New Yorker review of Mission Street Food book: "it’s a fun read, the food photography is alluring, and it’s nice to see a bit of life breathed into the traditional cookbook format."

San Francisco Chronicle "Don't want to open a restaurant? Take over someone else's."

The New York Times "At Pop-Up Restaurants, Chefs Take Chances with Little Risk”


New York Times Real Estate section: "Confessions of an Open House Addict" 

San Francisco Magazine: "Happiness During the Bleakest of Days" 

J Weekly "Gloves comes off as writers battle for bragging rights"