Inside the world of professional social media influencers: Dini Klein

Dini Klein is a food host and founder of the blog Prep + Rally (

By Bill Motchan, Special to the Jewish Light

Social media influencers are increasingly changing the media landscape by virtue of their popularity, with many having the power to affect purchasing among their many followers. Among the Jewish social media influencers with substantial audiences are five St. Louisans, three of whom still call the city home. Today, meet one of the five, Dini Klein, a food host and founder of Prep + Rally (, who has 150,000 followers on Instagram.

Dini Klein

Food host and founder of Prep + Rally (

150,000 followers on Instagram 

Imagine your career dreams being denied because of your religious beliefs. When Dini Klein was just making a name for herself as a chef, she heard from the Food Network. They were interested in her for a new TV show, but her excitement was quickly dashed.

“My goal was to be like a Giada De Laurentiis,” said Klein, 32. “I had a potential opportunity at the Food Network, and they said if I dropped the ‘kosher thing,’ they’d love to work with me. My  dreams were crushed. All I wanted was to be on the Food Network. That was my everything, and I remember just sobbing to my parents.”

Klein is a St. Louis native who lives in Los Angeles. She is an alum of H.F. Epstein Hebrew Academy and Young Israel. Eight years ago, she made a crucial decision. She did not bend and acquiesce to the Food Network’s demand. Two months later, she found a corporate partner that respected her adherence to Jewish dietary laws.

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Since then, Klein has made meal planning easier for thousands of subscribers to her Prep + Rally blog. Her guiding principles: Use ingredients on hand, give everyone in the family a role and make it fun. Often, her husband, Michael, and children Andy, 7, Joly, 5, and Solomon, 1, serve as the focus group for new recipes.

Her time and money-saving tips have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, the Hallmark Channel and Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness site Goop.

It all began when Klein found her calling as a private chef in New York City. She had a food service known as Dini Delivers.

“I was cooking for young adults on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with meals like homemade meatballs in small containers,” Klein said. “And I was just not making any money. I was barely breaking even cooking in a tiny little kitchen.”

During that period, she posted a few random cooking videos to YouTube. That’s when the popular network and website Tastemade discovered her.

“That was how our connection was formed, and I’ve been working with them for the past couple of years,” Klein said. “I turned it into a series, and then the branded work started to come through. I was developing recipes for Walmart and Starbucks and Daisy Sour Cream and Campbell’s and all these big brands.”

Klein’s primary goal is to grow her brand and continue giving her audience tips and tricks to make meal prep less stressful.

“It’s really changing people’s mindset about food,” she said. “It’s about being playful and fun for you and your family. That’s always been the goal, to be in people’s homes guiding them and changing the way they look at food.”

One of Klein’s next big projects is a mass market cookbook that is destined for store shelves at a major retailer like Target. Business opportunities such as the cookbook have propelled Klein’s career, but she still loves it when a single follower sends her positive feedback. Recently, she heard from a home cook whose daughter had an aversion to fresh fish.

“I love the comments and the emails that I get from people saying that I’ve changed life for their kids, feeding kids can be such a struggle for parents,” Klein said. “I got a text yesterday saying simply, ‘Sophie eats salmon because of you.’ That just make me so happy.”

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