Baker Karen Bornarth of Hot Bread Kitchen - Biography

New York, NY

October 2018

Karen Bornarth has devoted her career to breaking down the systemic and structural barriers to leadership roles for women in hospitality. After receiving a certificate in baking and pastry from the Culinary Institute of America, Bornarth started her career at Amy’s Bread in New York City as one of the few women in production. She worked her way up from packer to supervisor, all while teaching part-time at the Artisan Baking Center. 

She evolved this passion for education into her next role as the lead instructor and coordinator of the bread department of the French Culinary Institute (now International Culinary Center). From 2005 to 2010, Bornarth improved the curriculum and created new classes for professional and amateur students. She then moved to Le Pain Quotidien, where she first managed the Bleecker Street demonstration and teaching bakery, and later moved to a national role in product development, quality control, and training for the entire company.

In 2014, Bornarth transitioned to her current role as workforce development program director for Hot Bread Kitchen, a nonprofit social enterprise that creates economic opportunity through careers in food, culinary training, and incubator programs. Hot Bread Kitchen has been featured in The New York Times and Bon App├ętit, and on “The Today Show” for its innovative business model and social mission.