When you read Renae Smith’s bio, it doesn’t take long to figure out that she’s a hard worker. Fans of Channel Ten’s MasterChef will recognise Renae from MasterChef 2014, but Renae has many talents, in addition to her passion for food and cooking. Renae has very kindly shared her inspiring story with us below…
1.Tell us a bit about your job and how you got to where you are now?
I have two jobs. My ‘main job’ that pays the bills is a PR Agency called The Atticism.
My focus there is on sub culture and urban products as this is where I feel my skills lay.
I started this company after I got sick and tired of working in law. The hours are just ridiculous and I felt very uncreative – I had always helped friends and contacts with marketing and PR so figured, “Why not do it and get paid for it.”
Apart from that, I teach cooking to people across Australia and Asia (so far). I specialise in vegan and vegetarian food and have travelled to India, Sri Lanka and Singapore as well as teaching on Food and Wine cruises with P&O, Festivals and catering events. I got into this because of MasterChef – food has always been a big part of my life, but meat hasn’t – and I think it’s hard to get this type of food to be as popular as mainstream food – but I’m trying.
2. What do you love most about your job?
My favourite thing about PR is the fact that I can be really creative. Coming up with concepts for a client can be hard work, but when you finally get the vibe and can work with them to come up with some really great ideas – it’s a fantastic feeling to watch those work and to allow others to see what you see in a brand.
For my cooking work – the thing I love the MOST is when I give someone a sugar-free, raw, vegan dish to eat and their face lights up and they say “Oh wow, I would never have thought it could taste this good.” Every little bit of healthy and consciousness helps and I am glad to be a part of it.
3. What’s your life mantra?
I live by “If it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it.” That’s my one and only mantra.
4. What else would you be doing if you didn’t do what you do?
I’ve always wanted to be a psychologist and to study addiction. It’s something that both terrifies and fascinates me and I believe, in my uneducated opinion, that there’s a connection between genetics and specific types of addiction. I would love to work out if this is right, and if we could potentially work on a preventative treatment for those who suffer addiction of certain substances and not others.
5. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
I’ve never really dated anyone who’s been huge on the gift front. I’ve received the odd thing here or there, but I’m not really a materialistic person. If I had to choose one, it would be from one of my boyfriends YEARS ago. We started dating and he had a daisy bush out the front of his house that I commented on the first time I went to his house (I love daisies). A whole year later I received a pressed daisy in a frame. He had picked me a daisy on that day and pressed and framed it for me as a gift. That was pretty sweet.
6. What’s the best gift you’ve ever bought someone?
I’m actually secretly very romantic, or lame – i haven’t worked it out yet. I once bought someone a star – hah. It sounds lame, but they travelled a lot and we were going to have to be apart a lot of the time. We were both feeling really sad about this and I ended up buying him a star – and getting the coordinates etc. Then, I gifted it to him and said that no matter where we were in the world, we could always look up and share something that was just ours and we could have a moment to not feel so alone. I know – super mushy! I don’t think I’d ever do that again haha. A nice journal will suffice next time.
Here’s a delicious Dumpling recipe Renae shared with us recently…
Learn more about Renae at www.renaesmith.com.au.