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Rachel Ray on FoodTV

  • j

Am I the only one out here who cannot stand her shows? The theory of her $40/day show is great, but her incessant giggling and inability to pronounce even such simple words as "tapas" to be too mind-bogglingly grating to watch.

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  1. I also find her annoying and the premise of her shows is a little far-fetched. I think most cities you can get by on $40/day for food, even good food, and it's not about learning little tricks, it's about finding good places that only locals know. And her 30 minute meals are okay but she tends to forget that not everyone can cut an onion that quickly, or has fully trimmed chicken breasts on hand, or whatever.

    I do appreciate, however, that they try to get some regular folk on that show, instead of everything being super-haute all the time. That's why I like Food 911 and Good Eats because they are about a lot of every day stuff that some of us missed along the way. We can make amazing Gorgonzola Black Truffle Risotto but don't know how to make a simple and good mac and cheese from scratch. These shows break things down and explain WHY. Rachel is regular folk but not that interesting or useful in my opinion, but I guess her sunny disposition counts for something.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Kenzi

      I wish she would stop saying things like "getting a little garlic action going in there" or a little "tomato action in there" or "a little balsamic vinegar action in there".
      I can't bear to watch the 30 minute show any more, but the $40 a day is ok, just because I find the general info about the different places enjoyable.

      1. re: Betty

        maybe just my opinion. but these discussions about how people on food shows on tv talk and act don't seem to be about food, so maybe put them on the Not About Food board.

        1. re: wrayb

          I'm on vaca, that means I've got a few bucks to spend and not looking to budget my food. In my younger days, If the food bill had to be squeezed on vaca, it was coffe/bagel in a.m. (or Mickey D's), Pizza or Salad or Sandwich at lunch and a decent dinner...so, $5 buck b-fast + $7 buck lunch + $15 - $20 Dinner = (Cheaper than Rachel so can I have my own show??) PS: Emeril has worn thin for me too....I can't take any more bams, but even worse is the suspense building commentary "now watch this....now here's a trick.....and here's what I'm gonna do...Hilda". No wonder Food TV is all reruns right now, cuz now that I'm thinking of it, a few more are getting under my skin..........Aaaaargh!

          1. re: Duffelbag

            Yes, Emeril is irritating too. His "another notch!" and "yeah, baby" make me want to puke.

            1. re: FML

              And how about "I don't know where you buy your (fill in the item here), but where I buy mine, it don't come seasoned."

              Or "I'm in tight with the fire department."

              Or "Keep it G"

              I used to like him, but it's really, really worn thin. I get the sense he's a nice guy who really cares about people and food, but maybe he should find a new show format....The older shows he did, which were more subdued, were easier to watch.

        2. re: Betty

          I get the same feeling when I keep hearing "yummy". Nothing realy wrong with it, but annoying because it is used too much.

          1. re: bobh
            wow i'm a dog

            It's "yum-o!" that gets under my skin...

            1. re: wow i'm a dog

              How funny is THAT? How easy was THAT? How gorgeous is THAT? How come she can't light those burners on her cooktop? I mean, how hard IS that?

      2. Did you just watch, as I did, the episode on Food Network where she was in D.C.? Her laugh is irritating. D.

        1. If you do a search, you'll notice you're far from the only one who feels this way. I'm struck by how much "press" this woman seems to get on this board. As annoying as many people seem to feel she is, she sure has succeded in getting a lot of people to talk about her!

          1. w
            wow i'm a dog

            Finally! Someone else who HATES her! She is the worst host on FoodTV - hands down. From constantly mentioning stupid tips that her "granddaddy" gave her to giving out wrong information, I don't understand how she is still on! My Better Half and even my in-laws and little nephews think it's hilarious how much I can't stand her! Plus, have you read her bio on foodtv.com? She has *no* chef experience... OK, I'm a little obsessed, but UGH! I almost fell out of my chair when a thread was posted a long time ago about how she was so hot. Unfortunately, FoodTV's site doesn't have a feedback section to complain about her. Hrmph.

            2 Replies
            1. re: wow i'm a dog

              You CAN join all the other complainers!! Log onto foodtv.com and click on Forums, then to her shows -- and there you'll find many many fellow Rachel-haters.

              1. re: wow i'm a dog

                I really cannot stand her. Her voice IS anoying. She doesn't make anything original at all. Just how many different variations of hamburger, salad or "stoup" can she make???? I am SOOOOO glad that her show is cut back to once in the evening. I like the new afternoon/evening line-up.

              2. I can not stand her - just about everything she says and does annoys me to no end. Luckily, my husband agrees and at least if we are stuck watching her for a few minutes (during a commercial of another show), we find almost enough entertainment in imitating her annoying qualities.

                1. Yes, she has an annoyingly chipper personality. When I first saw "30 minute meals," she reminded me of one of those over-eager human resource people who are trying to recruit you into a lame job by cheerleading their firm. And yes, "yum-o" has got to go!

                  That said, I recently gave Rachel Ray another chance, and I've come to the opinion that "30 minute meals" is a good show for beginning cooks and/or busy people. If you're an experienced cook (e.g. you cook meals at least once or twice a week), her show is silly. But for me, I do find some of her tips helpful, even if I know that in the beginning, everything will probably take me more than 30 minutes. With the exception of my occasional dinner making fest, I'm more of a baker than a cook on a regular basis (e.g. I'd make an elaborate dessert, but just boil edamame for dinner) and so I have gleaned some valuable time saving tricks or quick recipe ideas from her shows. One of my New Year's Resolutions was to eat more "real" dinners at home (versus only when I go out) and while I wouldn't follow any of Rachel Ray's recipes to a T, I can use her ideas to shorten my recipes for everyday cooking or improve upon her recipes with my own seasonings and techniques.

                  As for "$40 a day," yes, the travel info is interesting, but I'd agree that $40 a day isn't that impressive, particularly if you are in less expensive cities. It might be more of a feat in NYC, but even here I can definitely get by with $40 without a problem, usually less. If her show was "$30 a day," it would be more useful.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: FML

                    Good points all.

                    I would raise the bar to $25 or (gasp!) even $20. I really don't consider $40 much of a challenge, not even in NYC (even less so in Europe). My daily food budget here in NYC is $15, not counting breakfast - but I do splurge on weekends.

                    I would LOVE a "minimalist" show that would give tips on how to cook a real meal for under $10: yes it CAN be done! A show that would focus on creative use of cheap foods. Eggs; pasta; cheap veggies, rice, beans and legumes; supermarket chicken.

                    BTW, there were a bunch of threads on cheap homemade food here, and they were usually very interesting; I saved quite a few recipes.

                    1. re: Katerina

                      Yeah! Why don't you email the people at FoodTV and see if they can get Rachel on it! Preferably someone else. Maybe our government won't listen to us, but Food TV should! (ooops, am I going too far into the "Not About Food" realm?)

                  2. I guess I'm getting desensitized. I used to change the channel the moment I saw her cheerful face, now I just press mute. I read the NY Times food section and check in once in a while, mostly to see where she is traveling or to check out the restaurant kitchens. I have never seen the 30 minute show and don't think I could take it but it makes me think that it would be fun to see her and naked boy do a show together! Talk about annoying!

                    1. Food TV has been reduced to a pedestrian food channel that does nothing more than recite avg recipe's for avg cooks. I used to look for foodtv for inspiration now I search hard for the occassional interesting show. RR shows are close to the most unwatchable of them all preceeded by anything from Emeril.

                      1. It's a sad fact that usually when tv execs attempt to appeal to a younger demo by putting on someone who's "hip" & "with it", that person is inevitably grating and annoying to the very people the execs are trying to appeal to. In this case, the execs have once again got it all wrong.

                        Ms. Ray, I believe, started out by doing cooking demos at Macy's in NYC & registered on the tv radar by doing cooking segments for the afternoon local news in that bustling metropolis, Albany NY. Her appeal, therefore, seems to rest with that particular segment of the population who watch tv in the afternoon or bridge/tunnel it into the "City" to watch an adorable & spunky young person whip up a batch of "awesome" chocolate chip cookies. In otherwords, ask your grandma what she thinks of Ms. Ray & brace yourself for the answer.

                        IMHO, if you're looking for the real deal on the Food Network, Jacques Torres is the man. He's a true artist, an inspiration, & his creations are nothing less than beautiful. Of course, he's a little short on explaining technique, but just watching his skill & speed should leave you in awe.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: The Insider

                          I agree with you about the target demographic and also a previous poster who said that she appeals to first-time cooks.

                          I love Torres' show for his artistry and also his very cute accent. Jamie Oliver is one of those artists with a ton of charm. I LOVE his show because he makes stuff using simple methods but focuses on the importance of good ingredients. He's great for beginner cooks because the methods are easy but appeals to the more experienced and experimental cooks who want to do something delicious and maybe carry his ideas to a higher level. Rachel Ray's position seems meaningless when you have so many others who can do what she does and better.

                          It should come as no surprise that any TV channel would cater to the least common denominator.

                          1. re: The Insider

                            They should change their name to F.E.T. - food entertainment network. The amount of actual cooking done on these shows (save for Emeril and Alton Brown) is getting less and less. All the shows are Travelogues
                            (food-o-logues?). It's meant for people who have 50,000 dollar kitchens and can't boil water.

                            "Best OF" and "food Finds" (and the god awful "UNWRAPPED") is a show which seems to me
                            nothing more than a shill for restaurants and food products. Not only that - it's footage makes for cheap rehashing into other episodes.

                            OTOH I am warming up to Jamie Oliver. He seems to have toned it down and the article in the NYT about his new restaurant (and his willingness to be filmed in a real life restaurant situation) makes me believe that maybe the guy ain't so bad.

                            Sorry for the scattered post.


                            1. re: The Insider

                              I love to watch Jacques Torres, very entertaining, very droll. His creations are inspiring (although they haven't actually inspired me). I keep thinking of James Coco's character in "Murder By Death,' and expect Truman Capote to come out yelling and correcting his pronunciation. Loved Coco's line, "I'm not a Frenchie! I'm a BELLGIE!"

                              1. re: Deb Van D

                                Why is everyone so enamored with this guy? He's boooorrriinnggg....

                                1. re: Deb Van D

                                  Deb Van D -

                                  "Buns? You have buns, and you didn't tell me?!"


                                  Damn, that movie is hilarious and underappreciated!

                              2. Horrible, just nails on a blackboard terrible.

                                She did her little $40-a-day schtick here in Portland and 2 of the 4 retaurants weren't even in Portland.

                                1. At first I thought that hidesous giggle was just nerves, but shouldn't she be mellowing out about now?

                                  I avoid her shows assiduously, but someone recently snuck her in on me in the form of a "helpful hint" commercial. The hint? How to dunk a bunch of spinach in water to clean it. Huhh? Okay. Thanks. I guess I will stop taping individual leaves to my car and driving around the block hoping the wind get the sand out.

                                  1. For what it's worth, I like her.

                                    Some of these posts seem a bit mean.

                                    13 Replies
                                    1. re: fladd

                                      I like her, too. Although she disappointed me recently when she whipped out a Zagat's in San Diego.

                                      1. re: fladd

                                        You know, I am probably the least "politically correct" person on Chowhound, judging by the multitide of posts that cross this board day in and day out...BUT...

                                        The Rachael Ray criticism does strike me as a tad sexist. Emeril is just as goofy, for instance, in his own way, and while people may not like him, they don't heap on the disdain the way they do with RR.

                                        (Now back to my normally-scheduled politically incorrect posts)

                                        1. re: Scooter Pie

                                          If you want to do a search in the archives, you'll see that plenty of people have communicated their dislike of him.

                                          I think that everybody who used to feel that way about Emeril got tired of him a long time ago. She's new, so she's a target now.

                                          Also, you could search on Jamie Oliver. He's had distractors on these boards, too.

                                          I think FoodTV is partly to blame, too. Males with food shows seem to be highly qualified and personable. But they place a higher priority on female beauty and a character trait I would call "chirpiness", which tends to aggravate people who have serious interest in food, and detracts from what credentials she might actually have.

                                          1. re: ironmom

                                            Okay, I'll even the playing field; I hate Rachel, Emeril, and Jamie (Oliver's Twit) all equally.

                                            1. re: galleygirl

                                              As the saying goes in radio, turn the dial.

                                              1. re: Tugboat

                                                I haven't watched TV myself since I had the cable disconnected last year. Reading about how annoyed people are with some show I have never seen, I just smile.

                                                1. re: Tugboat
                                                  Bob Martinez

                                                  Rachel Ray's appearances on my TV screen have a lifespan measured in seconds.

                                                  Venting about individuals of her ilk is a long established American tradition and I greatly enjoy reading creative descriptions of her deficiencies.

                                              2. re: ironmom


                                                on this particular issue, I am completely willing to defer to your judgement call :)

                                                (and i think your comment about "chirpiness" explains Rachael Ray in a nutshell)

                                                1. re: ironmom

                                                  Gale Gand, who does the baking show "Sweet Dreams" is one of our favorites. Less chirpy than Rachel by, um, several notches.

                                                  1. re: MU

                                                    I like her a lot because she is so clearly in love with eveything she is making...She tries to be understated, but you can tell her mouth is watering as she describes each morsel. The entusiasm is apparent, but clearly not faked.What better advertisement for the food.

                                                    1. re: galleygirl
                                                      Bob Martinez

                                                      Rachel is certainly enthusiatic but when assessing credibility, I consider the source. She appears to have the IQ of a carrot.

                                                      Give me Sara Moulton any day!

                                                2. re: Scooter Pie

                                                  I agree. But I don't like Emeril either...

                                                3. re: fladd

                                                  I don't think its sexist cause we trash Jamie Oliver, Emeril, Flay and the ilk...I think part of it is the whole "train wreck" mentality. I think people like in a little way to watch folks that entertain as well as annoy...isn't that why "reality" shows are popular.
                                                  I don't make fun of Emeril cuz i can't watch even for a few seconds. Rachel Ray, however draws me in with some of her topics, but then grates on me as I watch, same with Jamie Oliver, same with Alton Brown(whom my spouse can't tolerate). But I keep watching from time to time so they must be doing something right.
                                                  As for being mean...when you have all these great pithy comments sometimes you just have to get them out and while I can dish Trading Spaces and Samantha Brown and her hotel gushing with my friends they are bored by most cooking shows so I have to come to you guys...like I had to RR did her NYC show and only tipped $1.90 on dinner...the rest of us would have gotten spit in our water if we did that and ever returned!

                                                4. I LOVE Rachel and her show. So what shes a tad flaky. Shes hot and she cook!!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: jrinct

                                                    agreed. $40 a day is a great show. RR's enthusiasm is infectious. She shows a genuine interest in the different people and locales she visits. Her yums and wows over her food are sincere. I'm convinced she loves everything she eats on the show, maybe the stuff she doesn't like is edited out.
                                                    I watch with my starry-eyed 13 year old son who dreams of being her dinner companion.