Besides running restaurants, Elizabeth Falkner loves culinary competition as a sport and is one of the most recognizable chefs in the culinary scene. Elizabeth was a finalist and runner up on Next Iron Chef on the Food Network, 2011. She was a judge on Bravo's Top Chef, Just Desserts in the fall of 2010 and was a competitor on Bravo's Top Chef Masters in 2009 and has also appeared as a judge on Top Chef Masters and Top Chef. Elizabeth was a competitor on Iron Chef America in 2006 and a three time competitor on Food Network's Challenge and has appeared as a guest on Simply Ming with Ming Tsai, Tyler's Ultimate with Tyler Florence, Rachael Ray's $40 a Day, Martha Stewart Living and more.
Elizabeth founded Citizen Cake, as a retail bakery in 1997. Citizen Cake was an immediate hit, and after a few years, she expanded it into an elegant restaurant, bar, and patisserie. Citizen Cake was awarded recommendations by Michelin in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and scooped up numerous awards from both local and national media. Elizabeth was also the chef/partner of Orson restaurant and bar, which opened in 2008 in an old steel foundry warehouse in the South of Market district of San Francisco. Orson had also been awarded recommendation by Michelin since 2008 and has been featured in many local and national media. Elizabeth will relocate to Brooklyn, NY in the summer of 2012 to open a restaurant in Brooklyn. Elizabeth is a spokesperson for Scharffen Berger chocolate since 2008 and has consulted for numerous products and brands such as Barilla/Molino Bianco, Starbucks, Hershey, General Mills, Nestle, Nabisco, Kraft, Pepsi and more.
Throughout her career, Falkner has been both a leader and a mentor to many other chefs, working closely with Women Chefs & Restaurateurs (WCR), who awarded her their Golden Bowl for Pastry in 2003. She has been named the city's "Best Pastry Chef" by San Francisco magazine and a Rising Star Chef by the San Francisco Chronicle. Bon Appetit magazine hailed her as one of America's 10 top pastry chefs in 2003, and named her Pastry Chef of the Year in 2006. In 2005, she was nominated for the pastry chef of the year award by the James Beard Foundation and has been a featured guest chef for JBF hosting dinners for the foundation. Elizabeth currently serves on the board of directors of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs and is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier and the Disciples of Escoffier, International.
Demolition Desserts, her first cookbook, was published by Ten Speed Press in 2007. Using vivid manga-inspired graphics, Demolition Desserts lays out the elements of Falkner's multi-part contemporary desserts to make even the most inventive combinations easily accessible to home chefs. Demolition Desserts was a finalist for IACP’s Julia Child, Best First Cookbook award in 2008 and was selected “favorite book”, by the students of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, also in 2008. Cooking Off the Clock, her second book, will be released in fall of 2012 and her third book, Citizen Cake in fall of 2013, both also published by Ten Speed Press. A graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute with a particular interest in film, Falkner often finds culinary inspiration in film, art, music, and sculpture.