Chef Elizabeth Falkner - Biography

August 2016

Spiky platinum blond hair distinguishes Elizabeth Falkner in a crowd, but it’s creativity and drive that define her as a chef. Case in point: the award-winning, industry-leading pastry chef began making a name for herself and her clever, pastry artistry well before she opened her first restaurant, Citizen Cake, in San Francisco. From the pastry department at Masa’s under Julian Serrano to head pastry chef at Elka, Falkner went on to open Rubicon with Traci Des Jardins before finally setting off on her own.

Recognizing the need for a contemporary pastry shop in the Bay Area, Falkner opened Citizen Cake in 1997. Ten years later, she published Demolition Desserts: Recipes from Citizen Cake, and followed that up with Cooking Off the Clock in 2012. Falkner continued exploring her savory side with the opening of her second restaurant, Orson, in 2008, conceptually blurring the lines between sweet and savory and exploring familiar and iconic dishes with characteristic flair.

And even as fame and recognition follow her—from the Michelin Guide to appearances as both contestant and judge on “Iron Chef America”—Falkner has maintained active involvement in issues of social justice, childhood nutrition, and human rights. In 2012, she moved to New York City to open pizzeria Krescendo in Brooklyn, followed by Italian Bistro Corvo Bianco on the Upper West Side. The same year, she won first prize at the World Pizza Championships in Naples, Italy. 

Falkner is now working on a memoir, motivational speaking, competing, participating in industry events like the International Chefs Congress, and developing other projects with her company Falk! Yeah Productions.