Karen Barnes

I started cooking even before I began school, inspired by my mother who was a cook ahead of her time. Those early experiences sparked a lifelong passion. I've been a journalist for 30 years, working in book publishing and broader-interest magazines before specialising in food. I was head of the Good Housekeeping Institute for seven years and joined delicious. magazine as editorial director in April 2010. I have an archive of recipes at home big enough to fill a loft and I'm never happier than when cooking, stirring and creating in the kitchen. My mission is to get the nation cooking, loving it and eating well.

Special subjects

– Editor – Writer – Travel writer – Restaurant reviewer – Recipe writer and editor – Product tester and writer – Teacher (writing/food/recipe writing) – Consultant

Languages spoken

French (not fluent)

Regular work


Advisory boards / Awards

– Executive director/board member for the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) – On the board of Liberty Kitchen, an initiative training prisoners to cook, giving them skills to help them find work when they leave prison – Trustee for a charity called Ukuthasa, working with poverty-stricken people in Africa (specialist areas: education, housing, HIV training and work empowerment schemes) – Winner, Magazine of the Year, Guild of Food Writers Awards 2015, 2017 and 2021 – Winner, Editor of the Year: 2017 and 2022 BSME Awards

Commercial interests


Karen Barnes