National exposure, recognition
Renee was a contestant in 2011 on FOX’s “MasterChef” reality series competition featuring celebrated chef Gordon Ramsay, and though she didn’t win, she lived to tell the tale!
Her “My, Oh, My Sweet Potato Pie” was selected from over 750,000 entries in the Pie of Emeril’s Eye Thanksgiving Pie contest on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” As a featured contestant on the Kraft Real Women of Philadelphia Cream Cheese cooking contest with Paula Deen, she won honorable mention. She was also a contributor to “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution,” a program to help combat obesity and help people live longer lives.
In 2012, Renee was selected by Red Gold Tomatoes as one of the top seven food writers/bloggers in the United States. She was flown to Indianapolis for the Super Bowl festivities that year, where she also attended the national “Taste of the NFL” food bank fundraiser. There, she rubbed elbows with celebrities like Ted Allen of Food Network, and Buddy, Mauro and Joe from “Cake Boss,” and other celebrities.
On the air with The Great Foodini
Closer to home, Renee is a regular on Livingston County’s Own 93.5 WHMI FM radio station with her popular Foodini Friday show.
Supporting food issues
For the past three years, Renee’s helped judge Gleaner’s annual Iron Chef Competition. It’s one of the organization’s biggest and most-popular fund-raising events, and the money it raises supports Gleaners’ Shared Harvest Pantry, which provides emergency food to those in need.
Renee is also a supporter of the Michigan Good Food Charter, which began in 2009 when the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, the Food Bank Council of Michigan, and the Michigan Food Policy Council joined forces to promote equity, sustainability and a thriving economy in Michigan’s food system. She often pays tribute to her Michigan roots with recipes featuring state specialties, like dried cherries, apples, and, of course, Sanders Hot Fudge.
Photo by Casey Haggerty
Renee is a tireless community volunteer, teaching cooking and food fun at local libraries and schools to people of all ages — from senior citizens to preschoolers. She is a long-time member of the Livingston Educational Service Agency’s Family and Consumer Sciences Advisory Board, which supports life skills education in schools, and she’s a board member of the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce.
A successful Pampered Chef consultant for over 20 years, Renee is a popular presenter at its conferences, stressing the importance of ‘Edutainment’ and the 3 E’s — Engagement, Education, and Entertainment — to drive sales and retain customer loyalty. She was consistently in the top 2 percent of Pampered Chef sales.
Outside the kitchen
Renee has been married for over 34 years to Ed, and together they have two children. Their daughter, Kelly, is a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army. Their son, Eddie, is a graduate of Northwood University who works in Grand Rapids, Mich. Renee enjoys playing tennis, traveling, scuba diving, golfing, and, of course, cooking.