Vote for

Valerie Renée

I would love to win to not only be featured in this magazine but to win $50k to shoot and produce my cooking show.

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How long have you been cooking?

I was introduced to cooking and marrying of spices at the age of five by standing on a step stool in the kitchen beside my Great-Great Grandmother, Great Grandfather, Great Grandmother, Grandmother, Grandfather, Great Aunts, and my Mother. As a teenager, I had developed my culinary skills to the point that I was creating recipes and recreating family recipes and putting my own spin on it. I would get my Grandfather to purchase small bottles of alcohol to incorporate into baked goods and sauces

What is your signature dish?

I have many signature dishes as there is not much that I can not make. The requests I get most are for my sixteen cheese baked mac and cheese, Dominican rum cake with rum butter sauce, garlic mushroom chicken, oven smoked salmon, pasta e fagioli, lemon marscapone cheesecake, homemade limoncello, southern fried chicken, collard greens and Nashville hot fried flounder. I have created over 500 recipes that are all amazing.

What will you do with the $50,000?

When the world was paralyzed with this horrific pandemic, I was working with my producing partner to create, develop and shop a cooking show which bears my moniker, Valerie The Pajama Chef, which was given by friends and family because I cook in flannel pj bottoms and a hensley top and an apron. The $50,000 will be used to shoot a season of thirty minute episodes of my show. We made plans to donate meals prepped for the show to local homeless shelters, packaged meal prep style.