HI! I'M RENEE
I'm a chef and designer based in the Catskills. I work in many media, and in the multiple overlaps between local agriculture, food, wild food, illustration and fiber arts.
I have formally studied architecture, as well as classical pastry, and spent many years working in both fields. I have (informally) studied the identification and preparation of wild plants and fungi, both for as a palate for flavor as well as raw material for creating functional art.
My food centers around local, seasonal and often wild ingredients (and often preparing food in improvised and outdoor spaces). I am most compelled by food that challenges what we think of as possible within a rigid and unforgiving food system. I believe that it is possible to find food that connects, regenerates and inspires. I retain the brain of a pastry chef, and cannot always resist whimsy or a fancy presentation. Also: bread.
My design work draws from inspiration working with local and wild food and plants. Most recently, I decided to paint every species of wild mushroom that I ate last year. The resulting series is now a poster print. I like to work in areas where art and creativity can symbiotically create positive ecological or social impact. (For instance, collecting plant matter in a way that has a positive benefit on it's surrounding (such as willow weaving, or harvesting invasive plants for food and art material.)