Renee McGhee


“I’ve wanted to be an entrepreneur for a number of years but there was always something that was throwing me off about giving it a go. I wasn’t working because I had broken my hand some pretty nasty bruises. I was bored with television so I got on the computer and found out about Josephine. Once I learned how it worked I realized I could be an entrepreneur without all that paperwork. Josephine saved me off of my couch and from slipping deep into depression. I’m the type that when I’m still and quiet, it’s boring. I have to be doing something. It’s allowed me to have fun doing what I love which is preparing meals for people.”


Josephine helps a lot of people, and not just cooks trying to be entrepreneurs. It helps a lot of seniors. One woman told me that it’s just her and her husband now. He can’t get out but she wants to bring home cooked experiences for him. There’s another woman who lives alone and told me she hasn’t used her over in 2 years. She says, ‘Why cook for one?’ She comes every week. This is helping people.”


“I like a meal that has 4-5 layers of flavor. One of my favorite things to make is shrimp and grits. Normally you get a little bit of flavor from the shrimp, and a buttery flavor from the grits. But you have to think about how to make it unique. I like to add garlic and sauté it till it’s slightly brown, then mix that in with the grits. I use the old bay seasoning  and extra virgin olive oil with the shrimp. Next I simmer some tomatoes and drizzle them over everything. Finally I get some pancetta and fry it up till it’s really crispy…not burnt…and sprinkle that on top as a garnish with some fresh green onion.”


“One of my biggest challenges is I’m a bit OCD and I love to pick the highest grade of food. Maybe that doesn’t make you the most profit but it’s not about that. It’s about getting people to a place where their palate is like ‘I love this and I want more’.”


“My dream is owning a bed and brunch spot. Gardens in the front, gardens in the back. Places for people to read. I would serve them the most fabulous brunches in the world. I would be so into making them feel like this is the next best place to home and the meals are over the top. They’ll keep coming back and I’ll be set for life doing what I love!”


“My grandmother used to cook. She used to live over here in Berkeley on Channing Way. When I was a little girl I lived in Emeryville and I would take the bus to her house. She was the first one who made cooking fun for me. At home, with seven other siblings you were learning and it was kinda took the fun out. With granny, we could have fun. The only requirement was that you have to clean up your own mess. That taught me to clean as I go.”

“What was your favorite recipe of hers?”

“She taught me how to make bread pudding and now mine is the best! I make apple and raisin. The secret is the raisins are soaked in rum.”

Find out what your neighbors are cooking at


June 15, 2016