Renee Kelly Shares a Few of Her KC Essentials

Photo by Rose Duong

To call Renee Kelly a renaissance woman would be an understatement. The Chef/Emcee/Public Speaker/Motivator/Creative Consultant does it all—and then some. As her website states, “Have knives, will travel.” Not only is Kelly a former “chef-testant” of Season 13 of Top Chef, you’ll often find her at home simply creating ingenious new recipes or finding unique ways to nuance her famous farm-to-table comfort dishes. With Kelly, you never know what she’s whipping up or where she’s headed next. She’s famous for throwing things against a wall to see if it sticks—so to speak. Since holidays are her favorite time of year, her essentials had essentials.

Renee’s essentials…

Dinner for One:
There is nothing like finding your own joy, and that means being ok with savoring dinner by yourself. Love times a million The Antler Room. Chef Nick’s house-made pasta is a must, paired with the funkiest wine on Leslie’s list. Any brilliant being is welcome to dine with me at the bar.

Holidays in KC:
Plaza Lights. I have friends from all over the world that visit Kansas City. Seeing the magic ignite in their eyes during the Plaza lighting is nothing short of mesmerizing.

Most Admired Local Celeb:
Jennifer Janesko. A freaking amazing, beautiful, creative being.

Shop in KC:
Pryde’s Kitchen & Necessities. It’s my candy store. I want one of everything—everything. They still hand-write tickets and have old-school tea towels. I’m giddy just thinking about it!

Favorite Cocktail:
Vodka on the rocks with a twist of lemon. I order it anywhere, he he he! A treat though is Lifted Spirits Tasting Room—absinthe classically served with water trickling over a sugar cube.

Made in KC:
The farming culture is vibrant and dynamic. These folks are taking care of our soil while growing off-the-wall items inspired by the culinary community. Much love and deep respect for them all.

Why I Live in KC:
It’s easy. Many places are electric and there’s no space to breathe. Kansas City is an easy place to recharge and receive culture all at the same time. It’s balanced.

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