Mollie Katzen
Born (1950-10-13) October 13, 1950 (age 73)

Mollie Katzen (born October 13, 1950, in Rochester, New York, U.S.) is an American cookbook author and artist. The author of twelve cookbooks (all of which she also illustrated), she is best known for the hand-lettered, illustrated Moosewood Cookbook (1977) and The Enchanted Broccoli Forest (1982). She has written and illustrated three children's cookbooks, Pretend Soup (1994) (dubbed ″the gold standard of children's cookbooks″ by the New York Times), Honest Pretzels (1999), and Salad People (2005). In 2007 the Moosewood Cookbook was inducted into the James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame.[1] In 2017, her papers were collected by the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution. This includes all the hand-lettered originals, plus illustrations, from the Moosewood Cookbook and The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, and is now part of their permanent collection.

Early life

Katzen was raised in Rochester, New York in a Jewish family. She has attributed her interest in vegetarian cuisine to her kashrut-observant upbringing.[2] Throughout grade school and high school, she attended the Eastman School of Music, where she studied oboe and piano, resulting in an Eastman Preparatory School Diploma. In 1968,[3] Katzen entered[4] Cornell University and later received her bachelor's degree in fine arts from the San Francisco Art Institute.[5] She is the sister of Daniel Katzen, former Boston Symphony Orchestra horn player.


In 1969, while at Cornell University, Katzen cooked at the Ithaca Seed Company, a macrobiotic café.[6][7][8][9]

Katzen studied fine art at Cornell University and the San Francisco Art Institute, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honors in Painting. One day, on her way to school, she heard a radio ad for rock-lawyer Rubin Glickman's[10] Shandygaff restaurant[11][12][13][14] [15][16] Katzen took a bus from the art studio and asked to be hired. She ended up cooking and developing recipes at this cutting edge restaurant for two years, greatly influenced by the developing farm-to-table ethos of the new California cuisine. [17] Katzen returned to Ithaca in 1972 to help her brother Josh and friends build their new restaurant, which they named Moosewood Restaurant, after a local striped maple tree. [18] [19][20] [17] Katzen became one of the founders of the restaurant in 1973 and remained there until 1978.[21] [22] [17][23]


"Mollie Katzen's Cooking Show" ran on PBS from 1995 to 2000.[22]

Katzen has over 6 million books in print. Health Magazine named her as one of five "Women Who Changed the Way We Eat." Katzen served as a consultant to Harvard University Dining Services, helping design the Food Literacy Initiative, from 2003 through 2011. She has collaborated on many projects with Walter Willett, of the Harvard School of Public Health.

In 2013, Katzen published her last cookbook, The Heart of the Plate, which she considers her best work.[24]

Personal life

Katzen has two children. Her son, Sam Black, was a longtime dancer with the Mark Morris Dance Group, and is now the director of the company. From 1983 to 2022, Katzen lived in Kensington, CA. She has since returned to the East Coast.[25][26]

Katzen spends her time studying piano and creating art. She continues writing and is working on a memoir.


See also


  1. ^ "Awards Search 2007". James Beard Foundation. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  2. ^ "Moosewood Cookbook legend Mollie Katzen dishes on her Jewish roots". JTA. 25 March 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  3. ^ Witchel, Alex (9 October 2002). "Breakfast as the New Cure-All". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  4. ^ Witchel, Alex. "PRAISING PROTEIN: 'MOOSEWOOD' AUTHOR EMPHASIZES BREAKFAST, HEALTHY COOKING". Greensboro News and Record. New York Times. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  5. ^ "History". San Francisco Art Institute. Retrieved 31 July 2022. 1977 Alumna Mollie Katzen illustrates and publishes the vegetarian Moosewood Cookbook.
  6. ^ Shurtleff, William; Aoyagi, Akiko (9 April 2020). History of the Natural and Organic Foods Movement (1942-2020): Extensively Annotated Bibliography and Sourcebook. Soyinfo Center. p. 732. ISBN 978-1-948436-15-1.
  7. ^ Haine, Peggy. "Wild Women of Ithaca". Rotary Club of Ithaca, NY USA - District 7170. Archived from the original on 2020-09-01. Retrieved 1 August 2022. April 15
  8. ^ Shurtleff, William; Aoyagi, Akiko (2012). History of Soy Sauce (160 CE To 2012). Soyinfo Center. p. 1375. ISBN 978-1-928914-44-0. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  9. ^ "The Cornell Daily Sun". The Cornell Daily Sun. 86 (126). 24 April 1970. Retrieved 1 August 2022. Steve Tobin '67. co-owner of the Ithaca Seed Co.. popped out of a chair and ... stock and trade of the Seed Co., Ithaca's specialist in macrobiotic food.
  10. ^ Kauffman, Jonathan (2018-01-19). "How the Bay Area's counterculture helped sprout hippie food". Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  11. ^ "San Francisco Ephemera Collection". Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  12. ^ "Shandygaff Health Food Restaurant". Design Library Image Collection. North Carolina State University. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  13. ^ Roalf, Peggy (September 30, 2021). "Baseline Shift: Untold Stories". Dart: Design Arts Daily. American Illustration - American Photography. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  14. ^ "AUCTION - S.F. Restaurant Promo Poster". Rock Posters. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  15. ^ Librarians (28 October 2019). "The Painted Over City - Die bemalte Stadt". Art, Music and Recreation Center. San Francisco Public Library. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  16. ^ Goldstein, Joyce Esersky (2013). Inside the California food revolution : thirty years that changed our culinary consciousness. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 9780520956704. Series: California studies in food and culture 44
  17. ^ a b c Bazelon, Emily (17 June 1997). "Under the Spell of Silken Tofu". Lilith Magazine. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  18. ^ Miltner, Karen. "Mollie Katzen creates vegetarian meals for busy cooks". Democrat and Chronicle. Rochester, New York. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  19. ^ "A collective feast". (585) magazine. 29 December 2018. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  20. ^ Levitt, Aimee (5 August 2020). "Classic Cookbooks: The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen". The Takeout. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  21. ^ Dwass, Emily (14 June 2013). "Cookbook Author Mollie Katzen Begins a New Chapter". LA Weekly. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  22. ^ a b Kaufman, Leslie (27 August 2013). "Mollie Katzen Is Still Cooking". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  23. ^ Bazelon, Emily (April 16, 1998). "Mollie Katzen's very veggie cookbook". Sonoma County Independent. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  24. ^ Daley, Bill (October 9, 2013). "Evolving with cookbook author Mollie Katzen." Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 13, 2013.
  25. ^ "A Peek Into Mollie Katzen's Fairytale Home". Food52. 17 March 2022. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  26. ^ Wach, Bonnie (April 2010). "Vegetarian with Benefits: Real food pioneers like Mollie Katzen eat their veggies—and their meats". The Monthly. Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  27. ^ Anderson, Kelli (1 March 2016). "How 'Broccoli Forest' Happened". STANFORD magazine. Retrieved 31 July 2022.