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Rachael Ray

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My late father was in no way, shape, or form, a foodie, gourmet, gourmand, or any equivalent term, but in the last couple of years of his life, his diet was severely restricted for a number of health reasons. During that time, he watched the Food Network religiously, simply because he wanted to see the food. If he couldn't eat any of it, he at least wanted to see it prepared and enjoy the final product food porn. My father's been gone more than five years, but I'm still grateful to Emeril for all of the hours of entertainment pleasure he provided for my dad. Maybe Rachel Ray is doing the same for someone else's father.


"I like 'em french fried pertaters." (Billy Bob Thornton as Karl, in Sling Blade.)

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My only complaint is that when I come home from the restaurant after a late shift, Rachel Ray's show is still on. The people who enjoy her show aren't going to be awake at these hours, and I would prefer watching some of the other shows late at night (the ones more suited to those who work in the industry but are always on at the wrong times).

Anyhow, Rachel Ray's show is good for what it is. 30 minute meals is a good concept, there are plenty of people who don't have the time to be cooking elaborate meals. I don't normally watch this show (I don't watch much TV in general), but I have in the past and to me it's rather boring, but I can appreciate the info and can see how it is a popular show among the masses.

I do think eGullet has plenty of food 'snobs'. There is alot of good info here, but also alot of elitist attitude despite most people here being amateurs (although there are some professionals who come here).

And finally, using some pre-made ingredients is not a crime. I mean, professionals use wine, butter, chocolate, etc... in our cuisine, yet we do not make these ingredients ourselves. As long as the ingredients are of good quality (and on RR's show it seems to be the case), I say go for it.

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I was wondering about that myself, because of this discussion. She's taken us through $40 dollars a day, and shown us 30 minute meals for some time now. If she really has a solid fan base, which she seems to have, wouldn't her fans be ready for the next step now?

I know I would. I didn't think I could cook until I was 32 (I had a mother that burnt macaroni, and an ex that domineered the kitchen) but once I spread my wings I really wanted to play with food.

I hope there's media direction in the works that will turn her in a slightly different direction now. She can't exactly leap to hiking remote Himalaysian mountains in search of rare tea leaves. (Well, physically she could, but the lovable giggle thing might not work there.) Reality TV, no. Hmm, I'm thinking maybe an Andrea Immer-like tour of artisanal food producers. Let's find out more about that lettuce in your fridge. What are the different types? Did you know that there's winter greens and summer greens? Here's how to make your own vinaigrette.

Edited for post-prandial clarity.


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Mary Baker

Solid Communications

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Article in Slate
Rachael Ray may be the world's most reviled chef. Entire blogs are devoted to slamming the perky Food Network superstar—"Rachael Ray Sucks" is particularly vicious. On Web sites like eGullet, a "society for culinary arts and letters," users say she should be "tarred and feathered."

i'll take full credit for suggesting she be tarred and feathered.

however, that was back in 2003. i like her very much now. and others have moved way past her on my list of people who should be tarred and feathered.

foodie til death,

tommy

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tommy..... always on the bleeding edge.


-- Jeff

"I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members." -- Groucho Marx

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Rachel Ray is indeed grating but I can't say that I haven't lifted some recipes from her. I have a job, a husband, and a toddler... if she says that I can get a great fresh meal on the table in 30 minutes, she's got my attention. I grit my teeth when she says "yummo" (and the rest... I'm looking at you EVOO) but I get over it and remind myself that I appreciate what she's doing.

Sandra Lee. Good lord. Take her off of FN, seal her up in a Tupperware container (don't forget to burp), and put her on a shelf until "TASTE OF HOME" scrapes up enough nickels to start their own network. Feh.

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One word: Overexposed

Anyone as overexposed as RR, Emeril, & Bobby Flay will get hit from all directions. No one at FN can convince me that saturating the airwaves with any one of these hosts along with cookbooks bombarding any visitor to the local bookstore is gonna wash too well with anyone. Think about it, any Hollywood celebrity who is as overexposed as these wannabes is subjected to the same public scrutiny. Even for those that worship these folks (and I am not one of them), there is a such thing as too much of a good thing. Seems FN doesn't believe in this and it frustrates people how they'd rather spin a broken record then balance their programming in a world so incredibly rich with culture and ideas. Personally, I think if RR was on a more varied rotation with other hosts, public consumption would be more favorable. Afterall, people didn't mind her so much when her show first aired.

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It's not that I want to add any further hate on the anti-RR bandwagon, but I guess, to make some sense of exactly WHY it is that I dislike her -- there's something really annoying about her voice... It's kinda nasal, like The Nanny -- Fran Drescher (sp) or something.

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One word: Overexposed

Anyone as overexposed as RR, Emeril, & Bobby Flay will get hit from all directions.  No one at FN can convince me that saturating the airwaves with any one of these hosts along with cookbooks bombarding any visitor to the local bookstore is gonna wash too well with anyone.  Think about it, any Hollywood celebrity who is as overexposed as these wannabes is subjected to the same public scrutiny.  Even for those that worship these folks (and I am not one of them), there is a such thing as too much of a good thing.  Seems FN doesn't believe in this and it frustrates people how they'd rather spin a broken record then balance their programming in a world so incredibly rich with culture and ideas.  Personally, I think if RR was on a more varied rotation with other hosts, public consumption would be more favorable.  Afterall, people didn't mind her so much when her show first aired.

Exactly. Honestly, I still don't mind 30MM, but the other stuff has gotten out of hand. It was pointed out on a previous Rachel thread that she's on 28 times in a programming week, and that was before her talk show was announced. It can't be good business in the long run. Just ask ABC, who saturated the air with "Who Wants to Be A Millionare" and then plummetted in the ratings when everyone got burnt out and they had nothing else to offer. And to top it off, there's entire shelves at the bookstore just taken up with her stuff. I still have no dislike for her personally, and I'd never equate her cooking with the deplorable Lee show, but she did pave the way for this new mentality at FN.

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Rachel is targeted at who the FN would like to bring on board. My 26-year-old niece requested Rachel's latest cookbook for her latest birthday. She was raised in a home where everyone sat down together for a dinner prepared by her organized working Mom who is a truly wonderful cook. So wha? I think she identifies with Rachel. Rachel is young and attractive, active, instructive, 'has a cool kitchen' and makes popular dishes. I think she sees this as a way to cook complete meals for herself and others without too much strain. As long as I don't hear YUMM or EVOO out of her mouth, I'm fine with that.

Her other present, in the works, is a handmade cookbook which will contain some of her Mother's, Grandmother's and my recipes, along with room to stash her own. I'm confident which book will last longer on her bookshelf. :wink:

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I realized some time ago that there are a number of people in entertainment, in the public eye, who simply by being themselves, annoy the living crap out of me.

They include Jessica Lange, Nicholas Cage, Emeril, and yes, Rachael Ray.

I could spend a lot of time figuring out exactly why they are like nails on a chalkboard to me, but I've decided that that's a long and pointless exercise that will spend far more time on people I don't like than I'm willing to give them. I just accept that they annoy me.

So the reason I don't watch her and won't is purely personal. Life is annoying enough overall that I don't want to deal with any that I don't have to.

Marcia.


Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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Rachael Ray is certainly making a small mint for herself!! I could use some of that

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i have no dog in the rachael ray fight. i don't watch the food network.

i will say, whenever i flip past it or happen to see what's airing, either she or emeril is always on, and i seem to care for neither.

i can say nothing of her cooking; i have nothing against her. i just find her voice a terrible, listener's burden.

cheers :)

hc

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I like Rachel Ray, well, at least the cooking show. I don't watch $40 a day or the talk show simply because I dislike dumbed-down travel shows and have never much enjoyed talk shows.

You know what would be entertaining? Having Rachel do a guest spot with Bourdain on his new travel/cooking type show...

I have watched the Sandra Lee show a few times, eh, a bit dessert-heavy for my tastes. Some of the stuff looks tasty though, but her personality and presence don't really jive with me. They don't annoy the living hell out of me either, but, I'm not compelled to watch.

Actually, the only FnTV host who really bugs me is Giadia. Which is a shame, because the food she cooks looks really good. Well, that and those awful weird camera angles and cooking sound effects...


He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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Giada DeLaurentis - DeLaurentis = Oscar DeLaurentis.

Actually that is Dino, not Oscar...you are perhaps thinking of Oscar de la Renta, the fashion designer...and believe me, she ain't wearing his clothes :laugh:


Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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D'oh! That's right. Duh. I'm not an idiot in real life, but I play one on this board! : )


Rock is dead. Long live paper & scissors!

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I don't have an opinion of her one way or another. I suppose that's because I just don't watch TV much at all and I buy my cookbooks online. So I don't feel over exposed to her.

Her 30 minute show reminds me of a recent meal. We made couscous (steamed 3 times) and a very technique intensive version of chicken with preserved lemons and olives. We also added homemade tomato jam to the chicken. All in all it took 5-6 hours to make these two dishes.

One of the guests asked me for simplified versions of the recipes, something he could make on a weekday, basically a sort of 30 minutes or less Rachel Ray version. I told him it can't be done.

I think if I sent RR the recipes she could figure out a way though. :hmmm:


I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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We made couscous (steamed 3 times) and a very technique intensive version of chicken with preserved lemons and olives...

plus the 1-2 months for the preserved lemons!


"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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And while on the Sandra Lee side of this rant, I opened a box of Philadelphia brand cream cheese the other day.  There was an advertisement for a recipe contest.  The winner gets $20,000 AND....... a cooking lesson with her nibs, Sandra Lee!  My first thought was, if somone can come up with a recipe good enough to win $20,000 they don't need a cooking lesson from her!

There's an excellent book by Laura Shapiro entitled Something from the Oven-- basically a history of home cooking in the 50's-- concentrating on popular cooking figures of the time. Sandra Lee reminds me a lot of a woman named Poppy Cannon, about whom Shapiro devotes much space. Basically, a woman who couldn't cook (but could write) who tried to convince the American housewife that doctored processed food was just as good as the original. After reading Shapiro's book, I went on eBay and found one of her cookbooks, Can-Opener Cooking (I think that was the title) just because I had to see for myself. Very similar to Sandra Lee. Shapiro's thesis has to do with the home-economics industry (see her first book Perfection Salad), with the added influence of the prepared-foods industry. She suggests that popular writers were damaging home cuisine by convincing women that doctored stuff is just as good the real thing-- something that insults the intelligence of the American public. She goes on to talk about the advent of Julia Child and Betty Friedan. An interesting book.

I have watched Sandra Lee several times, and am appalled by the food. However, from an anthropological/sociological point of view, I sort of see her as a dumbed down version of Martha Stewart for the middle class suburban mom (well, of a certain type anyway). Martha is certainly an interesting phenomenon in and of herself, but if you "Martha Stewart Living" out of the Hamptons and put her Cedar Rapids, Iowa (no offense!), bring down the economic and educational background quite a bit, and you get Sandra Lee.

Rachel Ray? Annoying, but do watch her occasionally for fast meal ideas. A different market, I think.


"An' I expect you don't even know that we happen to produce some partic'ly fine wines, our Chardonnays bein' 'specially worthy of attention and compet'tively priced, not to mention the rich, firmly structur'd Rusted Dunny Valley Semillons, which are a tangily refreshin' discovery for the connesewer ...yew bastard?"

"Jolly good, I'll have a pint of Chardonnay, please."

Rincewind and Bartender, The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett

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And why must I see Emeril everywhere? AM I the only one that can't stand him? Or is it just jis audience that makes him so aggravating? To date, my dinner guests have never cheered & applauded when I've added any type of ingredient to something I was cooking. Occasionally, I get the "You're not putting that in there, are you?" from my husband. Does that count?...

Thank you.

When do we start the FN people we like thread?

Here, here. I have to say, I'm not an Emeril fan, but the show where he's alone in the kitchen ("Essence of Emeril"?), minus the irritating audience, is fine. And it's on at 9:00 AM on Saturdays, when everything else is cartoons.

Let's start that thread right now! I am a huge Ina Garten and Paula Deen fan. I cannot get enough. Paula is just adorable, and Ina's recipes are foolproof. Plus, she and Jeffrey have been married for years and are still so in love, which really gets me every time.


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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:raz: The only effective way to watch Sandra Lee is with a few cocktails under your belt. My sister and I do this occasionally while talking on the phone and watching her show! Way Fun!!!

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:raz: The only effective way to watch Sandra Lee is with a few cocktails under your belt.  My sister and I do this occasionally while talking on the phone and watching her show!  Way Fun!!!

She comes on a few hours before noon here...wow, you must start early! :raz: Maybe you should make some of HER cocktails! Ha,ha. I tried one for fits and giggles....ick!

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:raz: The only effective way to watch Sandra Lee is with a few cocktails under your belt.  My sister and I do this occasionally while talking on the phone and watching her show!  Way Fun!!!

She comes on a few hours before noon here...wow, you must start early! :raz: Maybe you should make some of HER cocktails! Ha,ha. I tried one for fits and giggles....ick!

I think I've found my new Sunday brunch routine...Bloody Mary's and Sandra Lee!


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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