Karen Leibowitz is a restaurateur, writer, and activist seeking improvements to our food system . She is co-founder of three award-winning and path-breaking restaurants--The Perennial, Mission Chinese Food, and Commonwealth--and she is Executive Director of the non-profit Perennial Farming Initiative. She co-wrote the Mission Street Food and Atelier Crenn cookbooks and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and other publications. In 2018, Karen created a sexual harassment PSA and InStyle included her in their inaugural list of “50 Badass Women.” In 2019, she was nominated for a James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurateur. Karen lives in San Francisco, where she is working to build a more regenerative and equitable food world. She is also available for freelance writing, editing, consulting, and design projects.



James Beard Foundation Semifinalist, Outstanding Restaurateur

Cherry Bombe 100: Women Who Inspire Us Every Day—With their Creativity, Hard Work, and Humanity”

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

Eater: "Paris to Host First World Restaurant Awards" 

Commonwealth Club/Climate One podcast: "How Climate Change with Change the Way we Eat"

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

Vice News/HBO: "Climate Change is Shaping the Future of Food" (video)

SF Chronicle: "The Top Cookbooks of 2015"

Bon Appétit: "America's Best New Restaurants"

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"

OpenTable: "How The Perennial Was Built Environment First" (Interview)

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"

Paste: "Build It Sustainably and They Will Come" (Interview)

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)

Food & Wine "What It's Like to Cook with Dominique Crenn"

The MAD Feed ("Perhaps the) biggest news from Zero Foodprint came this week, when Myint announced a Kickstarter for an aquaponic greenhouse at the Perennial, a new restaurant in San Francisco" 2014)

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

Yale Climate Connections (plus audio interview with KL about The Perennial.

Scientific American "Global Warming-Friendly Proves Moneymaker for Restaurants"

The New York Times Notable Cookbooks of 2011 ("the whole project is sui generis, including the cookbook portion of this volume"--Pete Wells.)

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"

Huffington Post "San Francisco's Perennial is Beyond Farm to Fork"