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Born in Calcutta, India, Karen Cathey’s parents were members of the U.S. Foreign Service. She spent her early years in Burma and Hong Kong before moving to Virginia and then North Carolina. She received her bachelor’s degree in European Studies from George Mason University and was a graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine.
Cathey, who passed away in 2009, was the president of Bon Vivant, a food marketing consulting firm in Arlington, Virginia, and a past chair of the American Institute of Wine and Food. At the time of her death, she was working on a new organization, Feeding Our Future, focused on linking children, food, and health.