Rie McClenny is a chef, food stylist, and video producer who has become a major internet cooking star. Born in Japan, McClenny now creates engaging recipes and entertaining cooking content for BuzzFeed’s Tasty brand and her own social media channels.
Rie McClenny’s Early Life and Journey to Becoming a Chef
Rie McClenny was born on November 19, 1980 in Japan and grew up with dreams of working in food media. McClenny was raised as an only child in Japan by her father, who worked as a train driver, and her mother, a nurse at a local hospital. Her grandmother owned a café, giving McClenny early exposure to the food industry.
After majoring in English at a college in Osaka, McClenny began working as an event coordinator at a culinary school in Tokyo.
Move to New York City to Study Culinary Arts
McClenny decided to move from Japan to New York City in her early adulthood. She enrolled in a 9-month evening culinary program, balancing her classes with a day job at Korin Knives as a salesperson. She graduated from the program in 2014, gaining skills in the kitchen.
During her time in school, McClenny realized she wanted to ultimately have a career as a food stylist. As she told TODAY Food,
“I wanted to be a food stylist because I knew cooking as a profession was very tough physically and mentally. But when I was studying culinary arts I also wanted to learn more and hone my skills, so I decided to work in a restaurant first.”
After graduating from culinary school, McClenny knew she needed real-world cooking experience before transitioning fully to food media. She and her husband Blair moved to Los Angeles so she could work in restaurants.
Rie McClenny’s Career Journey From Restaurants to Viral Food Videos
In 2016, after years of working her way up in restaurant kitchens, McClenny was ready to pursue her dream of food media. She came across a BuzzFeed job posting seeking a recipe developer for their food site Tasty Japan. The posting described McClenny’s background perfectly – someone living in LA with culinary experience who spoke Japanese and had lived in Japan.
“They were looking for someone who lived in LA, had culinary background, spoke Japanese and was preferably a Japanese person or someone who had lived in Japan for at least five years,”
“Basically, I thought, ‘No one fits this profile better than me.'”McClenny said.
McClenny got the job, and began developing recipes for Tasty in 2016. At first she just filmed videos showing her hands making recipes, avoiding appearing on camera herself. But one ramen video went viral, gaining over 1 million views in just a week.
On the heels of the viral ramen video, McClenny launched her popular YouTube series “Make It Fancy” in November 2017. She took everyday foods like Oreos and waffles and elevated them into gourmet masterpieces. The series was a massive hit, garnering tens of millions of views and subscribers.
In addition to her BuzzFeed and YouTube work, McClenny grew her own self-titled YouTube channel to over 500K subscribers. She creates content for other BuzzFeed shows like Make It Big and I Draw You Cook. On Instagram she shares recipes and food photos with over 450K followers.
Rie McClenny Marriage Life and Preganancy Journey
While living and working in Los Angeles, Rie McClenny met and fell in love with Blair McClenny, a software engineer. After dating for some time, Rie and Blair got married on June 30, 2011, as announced on their Facebook profiles.
Over the next few years, Rie McClenny continued advancing her career in food media and entertainment while enjoying married life with Blair. She worked hard to build her presence on YouTube, BuzzFeed, and beyond.
After over a year of trying, Rie became pregnant in 2019. Rie first realized she was pregnant while filming videos for BuzzFeed Tasty. She had to carefully hide her growing baby bump. At 13 weeks, she finally announced the happy news on social media.
Later on, Rie shared an emotional video documenting her pregnancy journey. She explained how she found out the news, weird cravings she did or didn’t have, and more. Fans loved getting a personal glimpse into this special time in her life.
On March 19, 2020, Rie and Blair welcomed their first child – a son named Hugo Mirai McClenny. Becoming a mother was life-changing for Rie. She described the pure joy of holding baby Hugo against her chest for the first time.
Rie Mcclenny on Social Media
Rie Mcclenny is available on social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. She can be found on Instagram with the username @thedessertsnob. She has gained over 456K followers on Instagram.
Likewise, the name of her YouTube account is @Rie McClenny. She has gained over 539K subscribers in her channel in her account. The number of followers is increasing day by day.
What Makes Rie McClenny a Must-Follow Chef?
With her tasty recipes, funny personality, and heartwarming behind-the-scenes look at her life, Rie McClenny has become a favorite chef online. Fans love tuning in across platforms to see her unique cooking tricks, drool over her food styling, and be inspired to elevate their own home cooking.