Raised an Italian-American, Karen Morgan lived a very gluten-rich life until a sobering diagnosis with celiac disease met her palate’s fate in 2002. While beginning to adapt to her drastic lifestyle change, she found a wasteland of gluten-free products; cardboard imitations of the baked treats she had forever loved, cannibalized the shelves. Broken hearted by the nonexistence of quality and taste within the market, she decided to do something about it and subsequently embarked on her self-taught, empirical journey to find the perfect gluten-free recipes for everything.
It was not until the summer of 2006 that the gluten-free Gods crowned her a bona fide gluten-free virtuoso. With nearly 100 recipes mastered under her belt, she decided to put her work to the test. Without telling the patrons or the owners of the chateau where she was baking in France, every dessert she made was gluten-free. To the audience’s amazement when she leaked her secret, she was lauded with a standing ovation every night.
Upon her return to Austin, Texas, she immediately posted her recipes on her first food blog, The Art of Gluten Free Cooking. In 2008, Blackbird Bakery was born. The online gourmet, gluten-free bakeshop catered to gluten-free gastronomes nationwide by shipping her handcrafted treats. The uniqueness of her style married with the uncompromised quality of carefully culled ingredients soon had her catering to celebrities like Ben Harper, David Arquette and pro surfer Kelly Slater, as well as marquee events among the ranks of the Grammy Awards, Sundance Film Festival, Austin City Limits Music Festival, Wanderlust, and SXSW.
Her first cookbook, Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free, (published by the house of Chronicle Books) is a compendium of delectable gluten-free desserts that are just as good, if not better, than their gluten inspirations. She is now the star of Whole Food’s new cooking show, Gluten Morgan. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, About, The Daily Candy, Gluten-Free Girl, Silvana’s Kitchen, Simply Sugar & Gluten Free, Spa Magazine, The Oregonian, The Austin American Statesman, Living Without, Yoga Journal and on NPR.
She lives, bakes and works in Austin, Texas with her son, Leo.