Welcome back to Style Dossier, Gabrielle Royal’s column that profiles stylish queers across the country. This edition, Gabrielle is featuring Renee (aka Chef Renee), a personal chef based in the NY/NJ area. Chef Renee curates menus for some of the swankiest dinner parties and works with clients to encourage change in their eating habits by introducing them to healthy and tasty dishes.
Recently, she has been using her platform to bring awareness of self-care for entrepreneurs. Additionally, she spends time mentoring young chefs interested in venturing into the business side of the culinary industry.
dapperQ: Why is queer visibility important in media and fashion important? How do your platforms help create space for members of our community? How do they challenge mainstream media and fashion platforms?
CR: Visibility of the LGBTQ community is as important as a little Black girl seeing the graceful and poised Misty Copeland across her screen. The idea is to be relatable and offer glimmers of affirmation!
dapperQ: How do your platforms help create space for members of our community? How do they challenge mainstream media and fashion platforms?
CR: I work with some of the most high profile athletes. It’s as important to them as it is for me to be our most authentic selves while showing equal respect and camaraderie. We have these platforms that should be used for the greater good, not for the sake of saying it, but in showcasing authenticity and breaking the mold.
dapperQ: How would you describe your personal style aesthetic? How much of your personal style is influenced by your identity?
CR: It really depends on my mood. There are times where I look like a Hypebeast with the freshest hair cut, waves spinning, hoodies and kicks, studious preppy fits and then, there’s straight GQ. Gender Expression, more so than Gender Identity, I recognize I’m perceived a particular way within the community, as well as within the public eye. No matter anyone’s perception, I’ll make it look good.
dapperQ: Who is your biggest fashion icon and why?
CR: Hmmm, I’d say Usher is my style icon. I look to him frequently because his style is so simplistic but constantly reinvented, playful, preppy, edgy and that’s totally ME!
dapperQ: Tell us about your biggest fashion and/or shopping fail!
CR: Oh Man! My biggest fashion faux pas had to be when I ordered a bespoke suit online. I thought to myself, this is going to be so dope, I’ll look amazing, I was so excited!! Let’s just say when I received the suit, it didn’t fit right at all, it was just all wrong and so so bad! It was the scene from the movie White Chicks, I was trying to squeeze all this booty in those itty bitty pants and it was a major fail! Now, I simply get my suits custom made.
dapperQ: What advice would you give our readership? What advice can you offer to people who fit outside of society’s understanding of traditionally masculine and feminine styles?
CR: The advice I’d give readers when it comes to fashion, it’s important to understand oneself when it comes to dressing and remember, there are no rules. Clothing, aesthetics all the way down to nail polish, it’s a vibe and i’ts a vibe of your own.
dapperQ: Tell us something unique about you!
CR: Deep down inside, I’m a unicorn [laughs]. Seriously, that’s an answer for the people who know me personally to answer. I’d love to hear what they have to say
dapperQ: What can we expect next from you?
CR: More community involved cooking classes and a very special cook book.
Want more Chef Renee’s food and flawless fashion? Follow on the Gram via @chefreneeblackman