Kristina Vanni

Kristina Vanni
Kristina Vanni 
Expertise: Recipe Development, Host, Food Photography

Kristina Vanni is an internationally recognized culinary authority, known for her experience as a recipe contest judge, food blogger, recipe developer, food photographer, and TV show host. 


  • 20+ years of experience developing recipes
  • Has made appearances on ABC News' World News Tonight and Nightline, CBS' The Talk, and Hallmark's Home and Family
  • Hosted Better Homes and Gardens "100 Days of Holidays" series


Internationally recognized culinary authority Kristina Vanni is a well-known food writer and blogger, TV host, recipe developer, and food photographer. Besides her current position here at The Spruce Eats, Kristina is also a contributing writer to, part of the Better Homes and Gardens family of websites. A third-generation recipe contester and contest expert with more than 20 years experience, Kristina is also the owner and CEO of Cooking Contest Central®, the premier website and online community for cooking and recipe contest enthusiasts. Through her personal social media channels, as well as those she manages for BetterRecipes and Cooking Contest Central, Kristina reaches more than a quarter-million food enthusiasts daily with her creative content and industry expertise.

A go-to resource for national media, Kristina is called upon as a culinary and contest expert including appearances on ABC News’ World News Tonight and Nightline, CBS’ The Talk, nationally syndicated Better TV, and Hallmark’s Home and Family. She also hosts culinary events; judges national recipe contests; performs cooking demonstrations and guest speaking roles at food and blogger events; and serves as a spokesperson and recipe developer for national brands such as Unilever, ConAgra Foods, KitchenAid, Post Foods, Baileys, and the National Pork Board. In addition to being named “Hot Chef” by the National Restaurant Association, Kristina served as the host of Better Homes and Gardens “100 Days of Holidays” series and as the food and wine correspondent to Melbourne, Australia for CBS travel special “Aussie Week.”

Quietly playing with bowls of flour as her mother cooked up winning recipes and family meals in their suburban Chicago home, Kristina learned her way around the kitchen while also taking interest in cooking contests. Her national contesting career began at the tender age of 12 when she earned a spot in the winner’s circle at the iconic Pillsbury Bake-Off. Honing her recipe development techniques and contest strategies over the years, she’s gone on to win top honors from Martha Stewart, Betty Crocker, Kraft, and Santa Rita Wines, among others. Today you can find Kristina constantly cooking up both sweet and savory approachable recipes whether baking a decadent cake, grilling a juicy burger, trying a new international favorite, mixing up a creative cocktail, or putting together a memorable party spread.


  •  Kristina studied Theater at Northwestern University

Awards and Publications

Not only have Kristina’s recipes been shared with millions online and won countless recipe contests, but they’ve also been featured in cookbooks such as “The Best of the Pillsbury Bake-Off” and “Taste of Home Christmas” as well as in national magazines including Bon Appetit and First for Women.

About The Spruce

The Spruce, a Dotdash brand, is a new kind of home website offering practical, real-life tips and inspiration to help you create your best home. The Spruce family of brands, including The Spruce, The Spruce Eats, The Spruce Pets, and The Spruce Crafts collectively reach 30 million people each month.

For more than 20 years, Dotdash brands have been helping people find answers, solve problems, and get inspired. We are one of the top-20 largest content publishers on the Internet according to comScore, a leading Internet measurement company, and reach more than 30% of the U.S. population every month. Our brands collectively have won more than 20 industry awards in the last year alone and, most recently, Dotdash was named Publisher of the Year by Digiday, a leading industry publication.

Read more from Kristina Vanni