Ambassador Spotlight: Karen Akunowicz

Bold and expressive, Chef Karen Akunowicz’ (@chefkarenakunowicz) cooking highlights exceptional ingredients through traditional and modern mediums, introducing beloved Italian classics with a twist of contemporary innovation. The grace and finesse behind her cuisine stems from her time cooking at L’Avian Blu Enoteca in Modena, and has continued to blossom through her immersion in Italian food culture and heritage. She has appeared as a contestant on Top Chef and Guy Fieri’s Tournament of Champions, and was awarded a James Beard award for Best Chef: Northeast in 2018. 

Chef Akunowicz channels her passion for Italian heritage ingredients and techniques into her restaurants, Fox & the Knife Enoteca and Bar Volpe Ristorante & Pastificio. Discovering Bona Furtuna on her journey of the exploration of heritage Italian products, she has become a loyal and enthusiastic ambassador. 




  • 2018 James Beard Foundation Award Winner
  • The Boston Globe: 4 Star Review
  • Boston Magazine's Best Chef in 2016
  • Top Chef contestant and Judge 
  • Appeared on Beat Bobby Flay 
  • One of Marie Claire's "21 Badass Women Changing the Food World" in 2016
  • Co-author of Myers + Chang at Home (Houghton Mifflin; 2017) with Chef Joanne Chang
  • No Kid Hungry Chef 
  • Contestant in Guy Fieri's Tournament of Champions 2023



Karen Akunowicz Recipe






▢ 2 balls of burrata (Maplebrook, and Lioni are great brands)
▢ 1 portion of tomatoes on the vine, about 8 tomatoes
▢ 6 tablespoons of KA Chef's Blend olive oil with more for drizzling
▢ 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
▢ 1/2 of fresh cracked black pepper
▢ 1 teaspoon fresh red chili pepper flakes
▢ 1 teaspoon flakey finishing salt (like Maldon or Jacobson's)



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Take the burrata out of the fridge to temper. 
  3. Place the tomatoes sill on the vines (plus any that fall off the vines) on a sheet pan. Rub or brush gently with 5 tablespoons of KA Chef's Blend olive oil, and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and pepper. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until the tomatoes are tender and a few start to brown. Remove from the sheet tray and place on a platter. 
  4. Serve on the stem, hot or warm. Add the burrata and sprinkle with chili flakes and flakey finishing salt. spoon the warm olive oil from the sheet tray on top of the tomatoes and the cheese. 
  5. That's the move: serve with a pile of toasted sourdough bread.


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