We had the good fortune of connecting with Rania Renno and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rania, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
Throughout my life, i’ve always been drawn to a quote that reads “Be so good they can’t ignore you”. For me, this quote acts as a reminder, every single time i step forward to act, that i have the opportunity to be something great or i have the ability to be mediocre. It’s a reminder that even when things are hard, i have the chance to turn a difficult situation into a success story.
This quote became important to me when i was a fresh college graduate with a degree in political science and no direction on what i wanted to do with my degree. I would scour the internet as i aimlessly applied to jobs, for a bit of inspiration. I stumbled upon this quote. “be so good they can’t ignore you.” Something so short and sweet has helped me get through some of the most challenging undertakings. I re-read this quote over and over and over again as i sat in my car preparing to walk into my first interview after college. “Be so good they can’t ignore you. Be so good they can’t ignore you.” Over and over again. Until it became my mantra. I walked into the building into my first interview and walked out with a job offer better than i had hoped for. Throughout my life i have decided that i do not want to be ignored. I do not want to be overlooked. I want to be seen as a force to be reckoned with. And for that reason, i continue to remind myself, every time i “walk into a room” that i have the opportunity to ” be so good they can’t ignore me”.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Hungrily Homemade was created as a way to celebrate the uncelebrated. The home cook. The underdog. I was always fascinated with how food that’s cooked at home has never really been in the spotlight even though its the food that we have such strong memories, emotions and attachments to. I wanted to celebrate the home cook and all that they bring to the culinary world. Additionally, as an Arab-American, i believe that “foreign” cuisines, such as Middle Eastern food has long been loved but the culture, heritage and history has never been closely tied with the world’s love for this cuisine. I wanted to tie these two things together. The uncelebrated Arab home cooks. I wanted to create something that generations of Arab-American kids could be proud of when they walked into the cafeteria holding a za’atar sandwich the way i used to as a kid (i certainly wasn’t proud of my food or my culture as a kid). My professional background is in Marketing Technology for Advertising Agencies but i knew there was more to life than i what i was doing being my desk. I used my passion to start Hungrily Homemade and to create attention around a cuisine that has been so incredibly important to who i am today. It wasn’t easy making the leap from a proffesional career as a consultant, to a food blogger, but it’s one i am most proud i made.
Some of the lessons i’ve learned along the way are:
1) Say yes to the opportunity even if you dont think you can do it. If you want it bad enough, you will find a way to do it.
2) Success takes a little bit of “fake it till you make it”.
3) If you don’t believe in your ability to be successful, no one else will either.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My best memories in the city revolve around food (obviously), and while i love all of the incredibly cool things Atlanta is building and growing into, my favorite spots in the city are the pockets of neighborhoods that showcase cuisine from their homes, right here in our city. Buford highway, for example is so rich and full of delicious foods from groups of people who came to our city looking for the “American Dream”. When you eat a meal at BoBo Gardens, for example. you can taste just that. immigrants who love their cuisine enough to use it as their strongest tool for their growth. When you visit Duluth and walk into a Korean restaurant, you can’t help but fall in love with the Korean culture. I love Atlanta’s acceptance for cuisines and people and cultures. When my friends are in town, you can find us hoping around from one “hole in the wall” to another. piling our plates full of Brazilian food at Beef Grill in Sandy Springs, Korean food at Jang su Jang, and Mexican food at El Ray Del Taco.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded with people who have always rallied for my success but my biggest shoutout goes to my husband who has always loved all of my ideas and has loved me, supported me, and allowed me to freely grow and explore my passions and interests without judgement or a sense of pressure. He is my recipe taster, my sounding board and my cheerleader.