Rachel Ray - A Legend or a Hype?


All right, the winner of this week's poll is clearly Rachel Ray, who rules the hearts of many food-lovers and young, aspiring chef's alike. Personally, I admire and respect her. She has carved a place for herself in the highly competitive food industry through sheer hard-work and determination. True, she's gifted too, for its not easy to cook delicious food, which many of us will vouch for, but its one thing to just live with your passion, another to make a living out of it, and exceptional to rise to a food celebrity status holding on to just your passion. What I like about her is that she's still very down-to-earth, grounded to her values, and honest to her love of cooking and her profession. I could be wrong, as I don't know her personally, but that's the kind of vibes you get from looking at her.

Snapshot
Birthday: August 25, 1968
Place of birth: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Food Network Shows: 30-Minute Meals, $40 a Day, Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels

The legendary Rachel Ray inherits her cooking skills from her Italian maternal ancestors, as she's mentioned a lot of times on her shows, and by her early 20's, she had started working at Macy's, first on the candy counter, then as Manager of Fresh Foods dept. From there she walked on to be a buyer, pub and restaurant manager, and finally a Chef. How she attained her celebrity status with 2 popular Food network Shows, "30-Minute Meals" and "$40 a Day" is known to all. She also launched her own talk show in Sepember 2006, has a biography written on her life, and has a series of best-selling cookbooks. Her online magazine "Everyday with Rachel Ray"is a great resource for food-lovers and cooks. But its not all "rosy" for the famous chef, as fame brings fans and enemies together, and you won't be surprised to find dedicated sites like "rachel ray sucks!" online!

I woudn't say that I am a great fan of her cooking though, because most of her items use the same ingredients, and she doesn't make food from scratch. I believe a good cook should know what goes into making a dish, the ingredients, their flavours and proportions. Its easy to mix ready-made items, sauces and some leftovers from home and make a meal, but that's just a one-time meal. To really relish your food, you need to put in some more effort, and that creativity and dedication is what makes an ordinary cook a great chef. And Rachel Ray probably falls short in this criterion.

At the end of the day, what is good or bad is for an individual to decide, and I'm all for giving credit to this woman for her hard work, and in her own way, she still continues to be an inspiration to many of us, right?!

What do you think???


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35 comments :

Anonymous said...

I don't know what it is that bothers me about her but it could be because she talks so loud and is so damn perky-so annoying

Madeline said...

I think you put it very well! I think the biggest misconception about RR is that her recipes utilize processed ingredients, but for the most part that is just not true. Her recipes use so many fresh ingredients.

If someone wants to make all her unhealthy recipes, they certainly could, but I try to pick ones with lean meats, fresh veggies, and I substitute whole grain rice and pasta. Her recipes are simple and so yummy. And every now and then I make an unhealthy one, too!

You can trust her with your grocery budget, which is a big deal, if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

HYPE! HYPE! HYPE!

She's an annoying hack, but fortunately I think her 15 minutes is almost over. Her fans are also some of the most dumb, ignorant, and illogical people I have ever known.

To Madeline,
1. Lean meats, fresh veggies, and whole grain rice and pasta will not make dishes which are drowned in cheese and oil "healthful."
2. EVOO, parmesan cheese, chicken stock, and many of RR's other staples are quite expensive. I've even seen her use veal and saffron, two notoriously expensive ingredients, quite a few times also. Bottom line is, I would not trust her with my grocery budget.

Anonymous said...

She's hype personafide, a product of the media. She has no real cooking talent to speak of, her recipes are unhealthy and mostly disgusting. Most of her shows are unwatchable due to her many annoying habits and rude behavior, she's about as down to earth as ET

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Sorry. I just can't agree. I think most of her "cooking" is just ingredients piled on top of each other. When she began her show she was like the housewife who had a few basic recieps to impress people at dinner parties. Now all she does is throw 15 ingredients into a soup, into a buger, into a sandwich, or over pasta. She calls these recipes good for you when they're drowning in cheese and oil. She says they're economical when the ingredients are often pricey and despite what she says, can't always be found at a "regular old grocery store."

She expresses contempt for any real cooking skills and in order to look more "approachable" ignores basic cleanliness and hygeine standards like tying her hair back or wearing an apron. She has no desire to raise her skill level. Mediocrity is okay with her and it should be okay for everyone else. No need to aspire to anything big. No need to realize that if you have some good solid cooking skills, you don't *need* her ridiculous show. Skills are optional in her world. It's another example of the dumbing down of America.

I don't buy the girl-next-door thing. She chain smokes, drinks like a fish, had her wedding in Italy, scoured the country for a breeder for her desiner dog, and makes $6million a year. How am I supposed to relate to that?

Anonymous said...

Hmm..looks like the "rachel Sucks!" group is bigger than her fans...yeah, i'd say she needs to be more presentable, and lose some weight!! but i'm not too biased on either side...lots of ppl compare her to Giada, both being italinas, but I think Giada looks more fake to me, esp with her low-cut blouses and the mouth that she opens so much!!

-Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Hype is a very kind word to describe Ms. Ray. She is a loud and obnoxious no talent fake. No
you don't have to have gone to the
CIA, but you must have some love for food and respect for those you
want to teach and she does not.
If you pay very close attention she
makes the same thing over and over
again, burger, stoup.
And I dare you to find someone even
a so called "cook" who can't bake or make coffee, I don't think so.
Horrible example for people who want to learn to cook, she is all
you should avoid.

PiMp said...

Madeline:

Your guac "burger" was an abomination in igorance as to what is healthy.

Because avacados, or nuts, or "evoo" are good fats, does NOT give you licesnse to use them with abandon. Those of use with Portugese, Spanish, French, Italian and Greek roots realize this innately.

Why doesn't Rachael get it, other than to sell more of her Colavita olive oil?

(I wonder if Colavia dropped Mary Ann Esposito after RR miracously found her Sicilian family roots after all these years (and many, many trips to Italy before this enlightenment)?

And if she's so tied to Sicily, why get married in Tuscany? Oh, because there are castles and vineyards to show off to one's "friends."

Anonymous said...

She has carved a place for herself in the highly competitive food industry through sheer hard-work and determination>>

I notice you didn't say she carved a spot for herself through creativity or cooking ability...

Anonymous said...

IGNORANCE. AVOCADOS. LICENSE. MIRACULOUSLY.
You must be a lemmin. LOL.

And Tuscany sounds like a great place to get married. Why not treat your friends and family if you can afford to.

Guacamole Rocks!

Anonymous said...

And if she's so tied to Sicily, why get married in Tuscany?

Ever here of Destination Wedding?
Didn't think so.

Anonymous said...

i just don't understand why she never lets anyone else speak. that is the most annoying part about her. she is so self-absorbed that she doesn't really care what anyone else has to say, and it shows.

she also seems like she would be the most miserable person to have to work for.

it's sad. i was watching some of the older episodes of her shows and she was so cute and approachable. now? well, it's just a little terrifying.

To the poster who told her she needs to lose some weight?! are you out of your mind? it's sad to think that this is how people think. this is why we have such an effed up view of image in this country (and in other countries as well i'm sure).

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with Short Dis(Order) Cook. I used to like RR because she made cooking look easy and fun but then she completely stopped trying. A lot of her shows feature "stoups" where she throws everything with chicken stock, heats up tater tots, rubs garlic on breads, makes these weird salad dressings with fruit jams and calls it dinner. she routinely uses excessive amount of olive oil and adds way too much cheese to otherwise healthy ingredients. AND if you've noticed the food prep on 30 minute meals is staged. A lot of people has expressed the fact that they find it impossible to finish her recipes in 30 minutes. Also, her cookbooks are not recipe tested so it often ends in disaster and people have said this on Food Network recipe reviews. RR has really cut down on quality and you can only fool people so much with being loud and unnaturally perky.

the nature of the market is such that all the chefs today strive to make relatively healthier meals that do not take a long time and Ina Garten, Giada, Sara Moulten, Tyler Florence and many other chefs routinely accomplish this in their cooking shows so RR is doing nothing extraordinary. however, she has lately taken to combining some weird ideas (cheese burger salad, hot dog stuffed hamburgers, thai pizza with duck sauce on dough) that just plain boggle the mind and repulse taste buds. creativity is a desirable trait in cooking but she just goes TOO far. these days it just seems like she's half heartedly passing 30 minutes in front of the camera and will slap something together in the meanwhile. she has expanded in so many directions that she has stopped learning about food and has stopped devoting her time to raise the quality of the material she puts out there. every thing that can be combined in a bowl or a burger is NOT a recipe. So sorry, as someone who used to love watching her shows i regret to say that she is only a mediocre Hype. she has no qualifications or talent to make a lasting impression on the public.

Anonymous said...

Rachael is a symbol of what's wrong in America! Fast doesn't mean better! If you can give some time to prepare a good meal, just go patronize the Fast Food Restaurants! Helathy meals drowned in Olive Oil and cheese isn't healthy at all! She uses tons of ingredients, some that shouldn't go together, and they can be very pricey! RR is a Hype fraud!
G

Anonymous said...

I also have my favorites like Ina for example (in fact I like all of the shows except for Sandra Lee's and those cake contest shows) but the 30MM thing doesn't bother me. So it takes 40-45-60 whatever. She's just trying to get the point across that you don't need hours and hours all of the time. Also, everyone has their own pace. Can you imagine doing all that in front of a camera? Not me that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

She doesn't need "qualifications". A piece of paper doesn't mean you're qualified or entitled I should say. I hate when people say I've been here 10 years and she/he has only been here 2 years and they got promoted blah blah blah. The best candidate regardless of time served/degree should get the job. OK. Enough.

4ridofrachael said...

You've got to be kidding me, healthy? Since when is drowning everything in "EVOO", smothering foods in chicken stock, and putting any crap she can find from her fridge into a hamburger "healthy"? Rarely are her foods even remotely good for you, unless you avoid them. She "brings back" things that people have eaten for YEARS, "reinvents" foods that have already been done that way, and claims that she's original???? She's no more original than her stupid wedge lettuce salads. When are you people going to wise up? She's a greedy, ignorant hypocrite that has half the country fooled into believing her BS. I tried ONE recipe of hers, after it made my family sick, that was it. Noone ingests that much EVOO or onions without getting sick. She should be arrested for calling herself a "chef".

Anonymous said...

The thing is that I don't care if she is a chef or not. What I don't like about her is that she is proud of her mediocrity. The other day she said that what she poured on her pan was 3Tbs of oil and it wasn't it was more like 1/3 of a cup and worse of all she was going to fry pancetta!!!!
I mean she is exaggerating the whole olive oil thing. Olive oil is good fat but it still has calories!
Why would you want to add oil to fry bacon or pancetta? its crazy
To top it off she use all of that grease as a "sauce" for her "dish"!
Can you imagine about a 1/3 of a cup of oil plus all of the fat that the pancetta rendered and on top of that add 2 kinds of cheeses? And she says her meals are healthful? She is a fraud. That's why I don't like her not because she has no "pedigree". Its extremely irresponsible of her .

Anonymous said...

I think she is all hype. Why people trust her with her limited culinary talents is beyond me. I know she goes on and on about how she isn't a cook. Fine fine fine Rach, but the way people mindlessly think she is the next coming of Julia child is beyond me. She ahs become a parody of herself and truly truly annoying. I have to agree with Anthony Bourdainw hen he says "Rachel Ray is to food, as Hitler was to Poland."

Anonymous said...

Rachael Ray is all hype, no substance. I can't understand why so many people find her recipes appetizing. It also bothers me that she would cook bacon in extra virgin olive oil! Bacon has enough grease already as it is; so why make it more unhealthy? Overall, I think her recipes are truly unhealthy and Rachael is someone America should NOT have as a role model.

Anonymous said...

Are you saying that Rachael is the most qualified? HA!

Regina said...

I used to like her, but now I can't stand her. The repetitions, the hair hanging on top of the food, and her family.. on and on and on. As recipes goes she run out of ideas a long time ago.

Regina said...

I used to like her, but now I can't stand her. The repetitions, the hair hanging on top of the food, and her family.. on and on and on. As recipes goes she run out of ideas a long time ago.

HowShittyIsThat said...

Hype! Legends make things that pass the test of time... Will the Hot Dog Salad she has created? I think not. She stopped trying a long time ago to impress anybody with any amount of talent or skill. A gross, loud, disgusting HYPE is all she will ever amount to and I hope America will wise up SOON!

Anonymous said...

When her show first started she was calm and explained how to do different things. I will say I learned some things from her. That being said those days are over.

Now she has been Oprahfied. She hasn't been the girl next door for years. If you look at pictures from when she started she looked natural looking but now she is heading down the Tammy Faye Bakker road.

I did try some of her earlier recipes but had to alter the amount of oil. If I did use the amount she used I would be dealing with an oil slick. They did turn out nice but with today's so called recipes I hesitate to even try them. As someone who loves cuisines from other countries, I would never try one of Rachael's. She has messed up wonderful recipes from cuisines of many countries.

And what is wrong with food taking time to cook. I love doing that. People need to quit this Type A personality where everything has to be done now or it isn't any good. So if she wants to rush through her life like her ass is on fire go ahead. I would rather take my time and enjoy whatever time I have here.

Anonymous said...

There are so many things I could say about dear Wretchael, but I think the other people here have said enough. Quite simply, she is the most overhyped thing on network television. Shove it up your garbage bowl, Raytard.

Anonymous said...

Rachael Ray is a bottom-feeding panderer. It's no great feat to prepare an appetizing and nutritious meal in 30 minutes. People do it every day without giving it a second thought. Most of the meals Ms. Ray throws together on her 30MM show take longer than 30 minutes to prepare, simply because of cooking (not prep) time. But her fans keep trying to beat the clock and beating themselves up when they can't. Although she brags that she hates to bake, she publishes baking recipes that you can tell wont' work, just from looking at the ingredients. (I'm referring specifically to her PB and J cookies without flour, and brownies made by adding ingredients to a mix and baking at 425 degrees.) However, those who lacked foresight and were disappointed with the results of these recipes blamed themselves, or even the altitude, yet gave high ratings (read the reviews). I sincerely believe Ms. Ray wants her fans to feel inadequate so that she can continue to victimize them with her chicanery and snake oil (Colavita oil, in her case) scams. Legendary hype, I say. How can you take someone seriously who tells you to grease a baking dish, and THEN line it with foil? Or who worked as a gourmet buyer but hadn't heard of fresh horseradish?

Anonymous said...

You've got to be kidding me--respect for an uneducated idiot that is making millions from a stupid gimmick. Did you ever try any of her recipes--I did and they suck. All of her fans say that people that hate her are jealous--no way we just know a con artist when we see one.

4ridofrachael said...

Alton Brown rocks, Rachael Ray stinks! Did she get a Peabody Award for her work, NO, and she never will, she's all hype, no talent.

hoju said...

i hate how on her $40 a day show she always takes some tiny bite and then says 'oh wow, that's sooo good. it really makes you think...'

the other funny thing was that one episode where she got drunk and was hitting on some bartender and he was all uncomfortable because her body is so weird.

but i guess it good that the women with weird bodies have some peppy role model to help them feel better about their lives.

hoju said...

i hate how on her $40 a day show she always takes some tiny bite and then says 'oh wow, that's sooo good. it really makes you think...'

the other funny thing was that one episode where she got drunk and was hitting on some bartender and he was all uncomfortable because her body is so weird.

but i guess it good that the women with weird bodies have some peppy role model to help them feel better about their lives.

Anonymous said...

Rachael Ray ---> A LEGEND !! Go sister !
Suxsters Go away and tell your very OVER WEIGHT LEADER to stop throwing stones !!! LOL Maybe she should get off her very fat butt and step away from the computer and go to the gym !!!

Jo-Ann said...

Rachel Ray cooks up the most unappetizing food I have every gagged over. Her "cute" little catch phrases are annoying. There is nothing funny or cute about bastardizing the english language.

I was thrilled to see my local dunkin donuts has stopped her promotions and I no ionger hear that moronic ad on the radio.

Name: Mansi Desai said...

Thanks everyone for the enormous feedback on this article!!

I appreciate everyones time and efforts on this discussion. keep it coming on the other posts too. I'll be sure to write much more of what you like so tune in everyday.

Thanks again!

-Mansi

Prunella said...

Suxsters Go away>>

LOL, the question was asked and if you can't handle a little dissension, how do you manage to get through the day? The world is full of people who will disagree with you. Deal with it.