Karen Martini

November 29, 2007, 5:04 pm betterhomesgardens


Food presenter

Melbourne chef, restaurateur and food writer Karen Martini has been cooking professionally for more than 20 years. She trained at top restaurant Tansy’s in the early 1990s and has headed restaurant kitchens including the iconic Melbourne Wine Room, white-hot Icebergs Dining Room in Sydney and her current artisan pizza restaurant Mr Wolf (which she runs with husband Michael Sapountsis), winning countless chefs hats and other plaudits along the way.

Karen’s kitchen career has been balanced by media commitments, cookbooks, charity dinners and much-loved recipe columns. She has been a presenter on Seven’s Better Homes and Gardens for six years, and is also a judge on the network’s top rating competition program, My Kitchen Rules.

Karen and Michael’s first child, Stella, was born in 2006, and Amber followed in 2008.

Since becoming a mother, Karen’s love of relaxed cooking with fresh, healthy, seasonal produce has intensified.

“I’m always thinking about what I am going to eat next, how I might cook it, how I could do it differently,” she says. “When I’m helping people to cook and eat and get the same pleasure from it that I do, then I’m happy. My recipes are an extension of me.”

After more than 20 years of cooking professionally, Karen’s passion for food and cooking is stronger than ever, and her palate has broadened as she’s experimented with different flavours. “I used to say my cooking was modern Mediterranean but now I chase the flavours of exotic Asia and the Middle East as well.”

Whatever the cuisine, the motivation and the reward are the same. “It’s a giving process, whether it’s at home or in a restaurant,” she says. “You’re nurturing people, you’re enabling conviviality and, for both cook and eater, I always aim to make mealtimes enjoyable and relaxed.”

In 2012, Better Homes and Gardens was awarded a record 10th Silver Logie for Australia’s Most Popular Lifestyle Program. The series is now in its 18th season.

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  1. Tony07:51pm Wednesday 11th December 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Please Karen can you call a biscuit a "biscuit" and not a "cookie". Your recipes look delicious, but where possible it would be great if you could avoid perpetuating our Americanisation. The last straw would be if you called them ANZAC cookies!

  2. David04:16pm Tuesday 20th August 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Hi Karen, I'm not quite sure how recent this recipe is but I can't seem to find a reference to it anywhere on the site... It was a recipe made by you; the indian spiced whole snapper with all the indian sides. If you or whoever moderates the site could add the video recipe to the recipe section that would be much appreciated. Cheers David

  3. Denise02:03pm Monday 27th May 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Karen, I watched you make a Strawberry and Vanilla cream sponge on May 24th I have a much better recipe than the one you used tonight, one that has won prizes at the local Ag. show, My sponge is so light and moist, I could send you the recipe if you want it's a recipe that I made up myself, everyone always asks for my melt in the mouth sponge, it's very popular, I have been making the sponge for about 50 years now

  4. Jenny07:42pm Friday 03rd May 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Hi Karen on the episode tonight u made the lamb shanks recipe from the recent magazine. U added honey which was not included in the recipe in the magazine. What qty did you add? I made this recipe myself tonight and it was delicious but the honey would add to the taste.

  5. Di09:41am Sunday 09th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Hi Karen. I watched you and Joh make a butterflied turkey recipe for Xmas day. I went online and it says the recipe and instructions are in the Xmas issue of BHG. I have gone through the November, December and Xmas issue and cannot find it. I'm sure it is there, can you tell me which issue and the page number please. Many thanks and all the very best for the Xmas Season and 2013

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  6. Johanna11:42am Saturday 27th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Hi, has anyone tried making Karen's Best Exotic Butter Chicken from the November issue of BHG? I tried making it last night and added the 2L of stock as per the recipe but it was way too much liquid. Even after 2 hours of cooking it resembled a watery soup rather than saucy curry. Maybe there was a mistake with the recipe? I think 2 cups of stock would have been enough. I was a bit disappointed after buying all the ingredients (about $30 worth) and putting the effort into prep :-(

  7. Christine09:46pm Wednesday 05th September 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Hi BHG fans Does anyone know where I could buy the plates Karen used to serve her father's day rosti - series 18 episode 31, friday 31 august? Been looking for plates with a curved lip or edge like that for ages! Thanks :)

  8. Desma07:10pm Sunday 05th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Just love Better Homes and Garden Especially Dr Harry ,and the cooking

  9. Desma07:08pm Sunday 05th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Hi Karen could you possibly email me te recipe for the easy biscuits with chocolate filling as I tried to find it but didn't have any luck Kind regards Desma

  10. Philip09:21am Sunday 10th June 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    it a good show but ,


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