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A Johnson County ‘Top Chef’ takes her talents to hit TV show

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SHAWNEE, Kan. -- She’s the “Top Chef” in the kitchen of her Johnson County restaurant, and now she hopes to avoid getting chopped on the hit cooking show too. It wasn’t just Chef Renee Kelly's talent in the kitchen that got her the gig.

Renee Kelly's Harvest is her pride and joy, but she’s not the only one. It's actually her customers' rave reviews that landed her a spot on this season of Top Chef. Kelly takes the phrase “farm to table” pretty seriously.

“I was really excited when I saw my carrots come through the soil. Their like little babies!” she told FOX 4's Megan Brilley.

Kelly grows a lot of her food right outside of her restaurant. In a sea of beautiful colors, Kelly hand picks all of the best for the night’s dinner.

“Begonias are completely edible. They taste like green apples,” she explained.

Kelly loves to provide a fresh-eating experience to people in the metro.

“It's kind of what we do here,” she said.

In the kitchen, Chef Kelly works alongside all of her employees, putting a lot of love in every dish. Kelly has caught the attention and tastebuds of many, not just for her culinary craft, but for her hospitality.

“I really do honestly enjoy stepping out of the kitchen,” she said.

Now her customers are returning the favor. It’s their rave reviews that caught the eye of Top Chef producers.

“My response was, 'well, why not,'” Kelly said.

She couldn’t give much away about the upcoming season, but all she could say is she’s putting KC on the map.

“It's been an amazing response that Kansas City has brought back to me,” she said.

You can catch Kelly on the premiere of Top Chef on December 2nd on Bravo.