Jamaica has a beautiful landscape and embracing culture. Those were among the many aspects of island life, Reniel Billups would miss. However, the mouth-watering cuisine was what she admired most. As a child, Reniel came to the U.S. and her desire for food and culinary arts only grew.
Reniel wanted to share her island flair with the U.S. Her passion for culinary arts started when she was nine, playing with food and cooking new dishes. As she became more comfortable in the kitchen her knack for cooking became an expertise.
Most of Reniel’s cooking style is credited to her children. She became a mother at the age of 14 and was forced to create dishes that were nutritional and cost friendly. Reniel’s recipes became her sole source of revenue. Her family and friends turned their backs on her and Reniel used her gift to support her children. Now, Reniel has managed, owned and cooked for a number of restaurants. She has even prepared dishes for the United States Coast Guard’s largest stateside base.
Reniel came to talent Web sites and instantly began using them as her interactive online resume. After using one of the sites, she was discovered and offered her own cooking show, but decided to decline because she felt it interfered with her values as a mother and chef. Reniel continues to post new recipes and how-to videos on the talent site. Her struggle as a young mother has only strengthened her spirit.
“I was a mother at the age 14 and had made many mistakes by then,” Reniel said. “…I decided that I was not going to allow myself to go down hill any more, so I found a passion and invested myself in it.”
Reniel wanted to continually set good examples for her children and husband. She showed them that it was achievable to come from nothing and to have made mistakes; it would still be possible to find a niche and perfect it. Reniel claims most of her existence was very hard because of her dysfunctional family. Thankfully, she was able to take the negative energy that had been surrounding her and transform it into a constructive aura.
Reniel enjoys borrowing recipes from others and making them into her own. She likes to add and subtract key ingredients in the recipe, which in turn perfects her dish. Reniel’s turbulent life has truly paved the path for her to succeed in anything and this is evident in her cooking.