Life Around Her Table

Chef Karista Bennett Serves Food for the Soul

kbennettThere’s no doubt that what makes Chef Karista Bennett of Karista’s Kitchen, happy is food! However, when you take a moment to peek inside her soul, you see that food is just the beginning of her amazing story and what she views as her real path to happiness.

Karista Bennett began her food journey in 1999 when she realized her cooking could “probably cause a slow and painful death”.  At the same time, she was longing for a change so she began researching ways she could make a difference and decided to enroll in culinary school. There she discovered her passion was now her purpose and a new door opened to the magic and joy of inspiring healthy, delicious food for all families.

When you take a trip through Karista’s website, you’ll find it gloriously peppered with beautiful images of real food, friends, and family along with fun vignettes about each recipe posted. They are the small window’s into her food journey and into her warm soul.  But as beautiful as her life appears on the pages of the site, it took a devastating turn when her oldest daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

“This literally stopped time for our family, all we could do is focus on helping Alex through this and getting well.”

Her daughter, Alex, thankfully, recovered but Karista and her family would never be the same. Her focus on food as a healing element for the body strengthened along with her resolve to inspire home cooks to use local, fresh, organic and sustainable foods. The result is not only amazingly delicious recipes on her site, but foods and ingredients that are healing to the body and inspirational insights that are healing for the mind, and the soul.  Karista has taken the online culinary community to a new level and her beautiful story will soon be available for everyone to read in an upcoming book this fall. But for now, here’s a little inspiration from Chef Karista Bennett.

What makes you happy?

Chef Karista: Peace, the quiet, walking in nature. Beautiful food that tastes so good it causes a soul-filled joy. The little things in life-like a text from one of my daughters asking about my day, an unexpected snuggle from my dog and teaching home chefs how to cook.

How do you create your own happiness?

Chef Karista: Gratitude. Every day I think about three things that make me grateful. I admit, some days that is harder to do than others. But I always find something. Whether it’s a break in the PNW [Pacific Northwest] spring rain so I can walk my dog without getting drenched, or find fresh kumquat at the market when I wasn’t expecting it. Finding gratitude and appreciation in every day helps me keep “the happy”.

What is the one piece of advice you’d offer to women everywhere about finding and keeping happiness?

Chef Karista: I once heard the phrase, “trade expectation for appreciation” and it hit me…when we expect things to go a certain way and then they don’t, we feel serious disappointment and unhappiness. But, when we trade that expectation for appreciation and simply appreciate the moment, even if it’s not where we want to be, we keep our spirit lifted and find the happiness we deserve.


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