Karina Tafolla grew up in Mexico splitting her time between the culturally rich city of Morelia, Michoacan and the small beach town of Playa Azul, Michoacan on the Pacific Ocean. She attended high school at Colegio de San Nicolas de Hidalgo, a former convent, and subsequently Instituto Tecnologico de Morelia, earning a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering. Karina was a member of the folkloric ballet dance team during college.
In 2001 Karina moved to Los Angeles and began working at her family’s flower shop in Eagle Rock, a neighborhood in northeast Los Angeles transitioning into one of LA’s “hottest” areas. She developed a keen eye for arranging flowers that can be seen in her hand crafted flowers adorning her cakes. Always wanting to pursue her artistic talents and interest in the culinary arts, Karina enrolled in the Baking and Patisserie Program at Le Cordon Bleu (LCB) in Pasadena, CA. Her talents were quickly recognized by the teaching staff allowing her to contribute to several LCB workshops offered to non-professionals.
Upon graduation from LCB Karina worked as a pastry chef at three restaurants in Los Angeles. Tavern Restaurant, opened by the duo of 3 time James Beard Award winning chef Suzanne Goin (Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America 2017, Outstanding Chef 2016, Best Chefs in America – California 2006, Best Cookbook – Cooking from a Professional Point of View 2006) and award winning, James Beard nominee sommelier/restaurateur Caroline Styne.
Connie & Ted’s in West Hollywood, CA. a New England clam shack inspired restaurant co-founded by Michael Cimarusti, chef and owner of critically acclaimed Providence, in Los Angeles, where his cooking celebrates his love and passion for all things seafood.
True Food Kitchen, A health-driven, seasonal restaurant founded by Sam Fox, visionary founder and CEO of multi-concept operator Fox Restaurant Concepts.
Karina also attended world-renowned cake artist Maggie Austin‘s flower construction workshops in Alexandria, Virginia.
Coming from a family of entrepreneurs in hospitality, fashion, agriculture and retail Karina wanted the freedom to present her own creations. In December 2017 Karina relocated to the artistically rich and diverse village of Yellow Springs, Ohio to start her own business.