Post Title – Renee Rentmeester: Creator / Executive Producer of The Cooking Without Looking TV Show.
The ‘Why’ of What I do
People have always asked me why I work with people who are blind. They figure I must have a friend or family member who is blind. The fact of the matter is that at the time, 22 years ago, I did not know anyone who was blind or visually impaired.
That was the exact reason I created The Cooking Without Looking TV Show…the ONLY TV Show which features people who are blind/visually impaired. I found that many people didn’t know anyone who was blind. That meant that blind people were being left out of jobs, and out of life.
When I was a little girl on the playground in Green Bay, Wisconsin there were often children who were by themselves. I frequently went to speak to them so they weren’t alone or left out. That was why I began working with people who are blind … so that they weren’t left out.
“That was why I began working with people who are blind…so that they weren’t left out.”
TV – My Tool of Choice
As a person who has worked in TV since 1977, I decided that TV would be my tool of choice. There’s nothing better than TV to educate great numbers of people, and to bring understanding, while entertaining. I call it, “Edutainment”.
Blindness can be a difficult subject, so I created a cooking show to keep it friendly while speaking frankly about blindness. We even bring humor in. It’s a lot like being in the kitchen with friends, talking about a mutually understood topic.Blind people enjoy the show because they are being included, and receive special tips to make cooking easier. Sighted people enjoy the show because they learn about a topic they probably knew little about, and they get GREAT cooking tips and recipes.
Showing blind people in a real-life situation helps sighted people understand that blind/visually impaired people are no different, that they just accomplish the same things in different ways. That means with more understanding of blindness, more people with visual impairments could obtain meaningful employment, and that would mean greater prosperity.
“… with more understanding of blindness, more people with visual impairment could obtain meaningful employment, and that would mean greater prosperity.”
Also, sighted people often feel awkward asking blind people questions about blindness. They feel like it is rude. So, through our Cooking Without Looking TV Show and our podcast, we ask the tough questions so that there is a greater understanding.
Through our podcast where we interview people who are blind about their life, we have been able to reach countries all over the world including Brazil, Great Britain, Jamaica, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, France, Australia and more.
We have partnered with the Capetown Society for the Blind, and they will appear on our pandemic version of the show: Cooking Without Looking TV Show Quarantine Cuisine Edition.
A portion of our sponsorships of the show go to our Vision World Foundation where we help people without cost to them.
Connect with Renee
Ren’ee A. Rentmeester Creator/Executive Producer
The Cooking Without Looking TV Show The ONLY TV Show Featuring People Who are Blind/Visually Impaired
For the past 22 years, I have advocated for people who are Blind/Visually impaired through the TV show called, “Cooking Without Looking,” the ONLY TV show which features people who are Blind/Visually Impaired. We aired on PBS in South Florida.
Blind people prepare their favorite recipes, and speak frankly (including humor) about their lives as People living with Blindness. It’’s not sad. The feeling is like, “This is my life, and oh, by the way, I’m blind.”
Mr. Fred Schroeder, President of the World Blind Union, says this about our show: “Your work fits well with our belief that blind people need encouragement to live normal lives and the sighted public needs the opportunity to learn that blindness does not render people helpless nor grant them with superhuman gifts. Your show shows blind people doing normal things, and that is a powerful message for the sighted public and for blind people themselves.”
It teaches sighted people about the real lives of blind people, and it empowers the self-esteem of people with vision challenges and blindness.
Now, we have the opportunity to produce our show for a popular streaming service.
We will shoot a pilot for our program, the “Cooking Without Looking” show.
We have future plans to shoot a show in Cape Town, South Africa with our sister organization, League of the Friends of the Blind.
Over the years, I have spoken to thousands of Blind people in various organizations such as the National Federation of the Blind (NFB); American Council of the Blind(ACB); and the American Federation of the Blind(AFB).
Before that time, I worked at CBS as Press and Public Relations Manager/Spokesperson; Associate News Producer; Assignment Editor.
I’ve been nominated for two Emmys…one for a series of Black History Month PSAs (Public Service Announcements) about the Miami people who fought in the Civil Rights movement. The other was for the writing of a special on youth gangs, “Youth Violence: Walking the Line.”
I’ve written/published two books of poetry available on Amazon… Visions From a Dream Called, ‘Life’: The Poetry of Meadowville and Visions II: The Poetry of Life.
I have a daughter, Lauren Morales; and two grandchildren, Janaya Ren’ee Carey and Elijah Carey.