Cooking with Vikki Kath

“I love the delicate taste of a fresh home grown lettuce leaf; I’m in awe of the beauty within a sliced beet; and the bright astringent smell of a lemon always brings a smile to my face.

believe cooking is Zen practice in action and a meal is a work of art that is shared – it sustains our spirits and renews our kinship with each other.

Whether food is served as it is, a bowl of fresh red strawberries, or combined to create something wonderful like strawberry-rhubarb pie, I like to keep it simple.

When you make it well and present it with grace, you honor the many beings who labor to bring food to your table.”

Vikki is one of CityZen’s treasures, a Zen practitioner for 47 years, she has graced the tables of sanghas and her many friends and family with fresh, inspired meals honed by experience and love. In co-founding Coyote Zen School of the Arts in 1987, she was one of the first Zen women in the U.S. to bring the arts into Zen practice. She considers cooking to be one of these arts. Her vegetarian meals are not the usual Zen fare of brown rice, tofu and steamed vegetables, they are fresh, luscious pairings of food cooked with expertise and wit. 

Together with CityZen, her mission is to teach us the art of Zen cooking within the sesshin environment. 

Co-Author: Simple Foods for the Pack published by The Sierra Club, 1976.

Zen Culinary: Coyote School of Fine Arts, led by Vikki Kath; Sonoma Mountain Zen Center, led by Bill Kwong Roshi; Tenzo, Minneapolis Zen Meditation Center, Hokyo-ji Zen Mountain Monastery, led by Dainin Katagiri Roshi; and Tenzo, CityZen, led by Rachel Mansfield-Howlett Roshi.

Photography: Vikki Kath's photographs have been shown at The Armory NYC, Berkeley Museum of Art, Orange County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco De Young Museum, Smithsonian Institute, the David Roberts Foundation in London, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and at Hans der Kunst in Munich.

Co-founder: Coyote School of Fine Arts, Bishop, Ca. 1978