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Karl Wilder
Originally from the south, at age 11 my family moved to Minnesota, the land of white people and white food – white bread, white gravy, and white meat. This is a place where rosemary is "spicy."

I learned to cook in self-defense.

Currently consulting and fixing restaurant menus and recipes, and teaching food improvisation at 'Fusion on the Fly'

Among my past professional credits I was the owner Executive Chef of The Country Club in New Orleans. I've worked in Italy, The Dominican Republic and Paris. All travel to me is an opportunity to learn.

I am often referred to as 'The Food Stamp Chef' due to my long commitment and activism on food insecurity issues.

Entries by Karl Wilder

Our Great Democracy

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2014 | 10:58 AM

"The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight." ~ Theodore Roosevelt


Wait a minute...republic? Hasn't every politician for the past 30 years talked about our great...

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The Ghosts of Restaurants Past

(0) Comments | Posted September 11, 2014 | 12:43 PM


What possible connection could The New Orleans Athletic Club and the Millennium Hotel in Manhattan have?

They both contain the ghosts of restaurants past.

Oh they both serve food of a sort. The NOAC has some pre-made wraps and sandwiches available at...

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How to Not Eat Like a Tourist: New Orleans

(16) Comments | Posted September 4, 2014 | 5:21 PM

In New Orleans the elegant and the decadent live side by side and relish their need for one another.

Before I left for New Orleans I was telling friends and neighbors of my plans.

"Are you going to Eat at Mother's?"

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What Do You Feed to a Naked Lady?

(0) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 11:50 AM

Every woman I know is on a diet, recently finished a diet, thinking about going on a diet, or saying she needs to diet.

The problem is often emotional eating. Upset, eat. Angry, eat. Depressed, eat.

Women are not the only ones afflicted. I had a

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Freedom from Religion

(5) Comments | Posted August 21, 2014 | 12:58 AM

Photo: Artist Alan May and myself at an event for the SF Food Bank (photo by Blodwen Tarter)

I wrote "Losing My Religion" a scant 48 hours ago. Much has changed since the publication.

The next morning, I walked...

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Losing My Religion

(1461) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 12:54 AM

When I was a little boy, I was taught to love Jesus. Jesus would save me from sin and guarantee my place in heaven.


Early on my mother's husband "Bob" gave me a picture of Jesus with a wooden frame. At the...

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Top 5 Reasons Every New Yorker Should Attend the Theatre

(2) Comments | Posted July 16, 2014 | 9:48 PM


1. It is affordable

I hate the word affordable as it is usually used to describe $300 a night hotels, however in this case it is apt. TDF is the most well-known source for less expensive tickets. 20@$20 is great...

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How to Franchise With Integrity... and Control

(2) Comments | Posted June 2, 2014 | 9:00 PM

I first learned about franchising in a conversation with Steve Abrams, CEO of Magnolia Bakery. He recommended a few books for me to read, including one about McDonalds. While I would never want to utilize their "food" model in the area of international franchising, they have a lot to teach.

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Picky Eaters Are Made, Not Born

(5) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 12:24 PM

Travel anywhere in the world from Vietnam to France and you will see children happily eating vegetables, liver, even crickets.

Only in America do we produce children who only eat buttered noodles and chicken fingers. Only in America do we have children who won't touch vegetables.


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An Unrepentent Carnivore

(3) Comments | Posted April 23, 2014 | 9:28 AM

Meat tastes good.


Seriously, no tofu product can compare the that wonderful sense of satisfaction one gets from well-prepared meat.

I have tried them all, from vegan bacon to vegan Cajun sausage. As a chef I have done everything one can...

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My Dinner with Andre

(0) Comments | Posted March 13, 2014 | 12:32 PM

One thing has always proven to be true in my experience. When you enter a Cabaret in NY, they will have a mandatory coat check that they will charge you for, you will have to order disgusting food you likely won't eat, and the drinks will be grossly overpriced.

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A Chef and Fast Food Virgin Takes on a Big Mac

(1) Comments | Posted March 4, 2014 | 2:54 PM


A friend of mine, a fast food fan is always amazed at the places I have never ate.

"You've really truly never even eaten at Subway?" "You have NEVER had a Big MAC?"

I tend to rattle off a list of...

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Food Charities That Really Make a Difference

(3) Comments | Posted February 26, 2014 | 11:15 AM

Twice I lived on a food stamp budget. Twice I learned that it is impossible to get both the needed calories and nutrition the human body requires on such a budget.

I became known as The Food Stamp Chef and as a result I still get a mail...

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What Every New Orleans Style Restaurant (Outside of New Orleans) Gets Wrong

(3) Comments | Posted February 19, 2014 | 1:50 PM

As Fat Tuesday approaches in New Orleans, the parades have begun, and the season of eating has commenced.

Those of us who have connections to the city, but no longer live there, turn our thoughts to food. We often go to a local "New Orleans style" restaurant, hoping against...

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