BIO | KAREN SAFRIS | I became interested in cooking as a child and loved to help my mom garden, cook and bake. As an adult, I loved to host dinner parties and cook for my friends. I graduated from the Iowa Culinary Institute with a degree in Culinary Arts. During that time, we created internationally-themed gourmet dinners for 200+ people and had the honor of working with a group of chefs from France as part of an exchange program to learn skills from them and create gourmet dinners. I also worked in the Bistro to create lunch menus and learn each cooking station. I have also worked for a catering company for two years where we did all different size events from intimate dinners to large weddings. In addition, I worked as a Food Stylist for Meredith Corporation where we made and styled food for publications such as Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, Food and Wine, and Southern Living as well as special interest publications.