Karen Akunowic at Fox & the Knife photographed by Sarah Hummel


What do you do in the food world and what do you love about it?
I’m the Chef and Owner of Fox & the Knife Enoteca and SloPoke Poke shop, a cookbook author and a have competed on Top Chef on Bravo.

How do you resist the patriarchy?
Hire, promote and hype women in my business. Wing my eyeliner every damn day. Our management team is 100% female and so are most of our cooks. Bring everyone with me, when one of us succeeds we all succeed. Speak up and out when the patriarchy is rearing its ugly head, even when I’m scared, even when I’m uncomfortable.

It takes a lot of trial and error and re-calibrating to reach success. What has been your favorite failure along the way?
About three years ago, I was supposed to open another restaurant with my former business partners. It didn’t work out and it was really heartbreaking for me. Fast forward to now and I wouldn’t have Fox & the Knife if it wasn’t for that setback. Decisions are commas, not periods.

Let's geek out on Italian food for a second. What is your favorite pasta on the menu right now? What elements of Italy did you most want to bring to life at Fox and the Knife?
The element I most wanted to bring to life was the culture. From Aperitivo hour to Amaro I wanted to embody the enotecas that I hung out in while living and working in Italy. I mean, and tagliatelle Bolognese 4 lyfe.

What's the best piece of advice you've received from another woman?
Talk about money. It’s just money, a piece of the conversation. Talk about it as easily as you talk about a new dish on a menu or a team member review. Once you get over that hurdle, it becomes a lot easier. Women shy away from the conversation, because we are taught it is rude to ask about money, so we end up getting and having less. I want to turn that notion on its head.

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