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Why We Love Karen Hatfield

Karen Hatfield’s pastry career began not far from home at the Los Angeles Culinary Institute, where she perfected her ability to take classic combinations and translate them in unexpected ways. Upon graduation, Karen honed her pastry skills under the guidance of Sherry Yard at Spago, which is also were she met her husband. After a few years, the couple moved to New York and quickly immersed themselves in the New York restaurant scene. 

While in New York, Karen held positions at Café Boulud, Jean-Georges and Gramercy Tavern, where she worked alongside James Beard Award winner Claudia Fleming. In 2002, Karen and Quinn moved to San Francisco to open Cortez restaurant in the Union Square Hotel Adagio where Karen also managed the front of the house. Still, they longed for their own restaurant back home in L.A. and in 2006 discovered a quaint restaurant space on Beverly Boulevard - they later moved to a larger space on Melrose in 2009 - for their labor of love, Hatfield’s. Hatfield’s closed in late 2014 as the chefs announced plans for their latest project, Odys + Penelope. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves…

Karen and Quinn Hatfield opened The Sycamore Kitchen in 2012, an urban bakery and eatery. Here Karen’s seasonally focused desserts are showcased including chocolate croissants, almond-scented brioche, blueberry financiers, walnut galettes…and her killer rye chocolate chip cookies.

“We made our home in Los Angeles years ago because we love it here. This concept is a dedication to our neighborhood, to create the eatery that we crave. Any time of day, you can stop by for wholesome pastries, a delicious lunch, or simply a great cup of coffee,” Karen said when Sycamore Kitchen first opened.

In January 2015, the chefs opened Odys + Penelope just a few doors down from Sycamore Kitchen. With an open grill and wood-fired smoker, the chefs use elemental live-fire cooking methods. When asked about any residual sadness while closing Hatfield’s and opening Odys + Penelope, Karen Hatfield said: ”It’s like how to get over an old boyfriend. Get a new one.” Great advice for all of us!

Onward! Cook On!

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