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Oct 1, 2006 03:01 PM

New Yorker article..RR

So I read the New Yorker article on celebrity chefs and the link dedicated to hating Rachel Ray was brought to my attention. I guess everyone has the right to have and blog their own opinion, but I thought the reasons this site gives are pretty innocuous - RR is basically a goofy Italian American woman (they complain of hand waving and talking exhuberantly) w/no chef's training. People hate her for this?

Perhaps I'm missing something b/c I only watch the Food Network when visiting relatives. I can't stand to watch Sarah Moulton, Sandra Lee, and Giada. I do not mind Ina, Rachel, and Paula.
I am fortunately too busy to start a Sandra Lee bashing web site, if one doesn't yet exist, but why do we have such visceral reactions to these chefs? Are they supposed to be stereotypes or something?

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  1. Perhaps I am getting too deep into this. I think perhaps the problem with Rachel Ray is on part over kill. At one point she had four shows going on FN. Now, if am not mistaken, she is down to three. Besides these there is her new daily talk show and her magazine. She represents what many FN viewers feel is wrong with the network; style over substance.

    The other part is she also represents: the decline of The Food Network. The network used to have people how were chefs and knowledgeable about food. There were some very interesting shows. According to the article fans of those shows are the ‘elite ‘ that the network is not interested in. Now they find a ‘personality’ that they think works and use them repeatedly. There is no real insight or learning. It’s all about quick and easy. Rachel Ray has become the poster child for all of that.

    Anyone remember when MTV played music?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Withnail42

      MTV played Music back when the Food network had David Rosengarten - ah, those were the days...

    2. I don't hate RR but do find her hyper perkiness and lack of depth when tasting and explaining food (on $40 a day) annoying. When someone comes on with the frequency of RR, it can be nagging. Any way, I've said it before, if she simply dialed things back from "11" (on a scale of 10) to around "7", took time to enjoy the food, she would be fine and watchable.

      1. I generally like RR. I will watch 30-Minute Meals (and even added a few recipes to my repetoir), will occasionally watch $40 a Day (although I don't go out of my way to watch it), I subscribe to her magazine, and saw one episode of her new talk show.

        Yes, her personality is amped up, and she does admit to drinking a ton of coffee, so maybe that's it. Maybe she knows that these opportunities may never present themselves again, and she's going to go for it while she can.

        Overall, I am tired of all the bashing. She seems like a genuinely nice girl who loves her mother, her "sweetie", food and life. Give the girl a break! If I were her, I would take advantage of every opportunity I get - even at the risk of overexposure! Let the girl have her moment, already.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Divamac

          I've been tired of the bashing for a long time, especially of Sandra Lee and Rachel. At one point, Chowhound stopped all bashing of Food Network personalities saying if you wanted to spout off Andy Rooney-isms, to take it elsewhere. I thought Chowhound was a better place then.

        2. How many Rachel Ray topics do we need?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            this was meant to be a more general question. see above.

          2. ah, the great RR debate. I find my once strict anti-RR opinions to be waning as I read this thread, and can't really decide how I feel about her!
            On the one hand, she has some annoying performance habits and isn't the most knowledgable about food (contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be a trained chef to be food smart, but you do have a read a book or two), and frankly, has more shows than I think she deserves. But on the other hand, the times she is not overly animated, she seems like a pretty cool person who loves good food, and you can't blame her for that.
            Withnail42 hit the nail on the head by calling it overkill of RR on Food Network. But should we be mad at RR for taking on all these shows, or at FN for seeing a fun personality and exploiting it? I understand they are probably trying to appeal to all demographics, including chefs and nonchefs. But I also agree that FN seems to be a little too non-chef heavy for my liking. They don't seem to understand that less is more, especially with big personalities. Emeril Lagasse seems like a guy I'd love to have a beer with and let cook for me, but when it comes to communicating his ideas, he is horrible. I watched a show on rice the other day, and he explained the different varieties by saying "So rice is uh, well, it comes in different in colors see, like white and brown, and it all tastes really really good." I actually felt more stupid after hearing that. RR is a good communicator, but can't always get her facts straight.
            FN needs to find a better balance between the chef and nonchef shows, and then shell out some money for RR to take a basic speech class . Because in terms of personality, RR is definately a get a beer with kind of gal. Just don't have her teach you to make risotto.

            1 Reply
            1. re: foodrocks

              I really had no opinion of here one way or the other.
              My parents love her and she got my father to start cooking - for that, she earns my respect. HOWEVER, I just heard a "bumper" today during the morning news that went like this:

              "Today on Rachel Ray, we'll show you how to host your own 'Godfather'-themed dinner party, and to help set the stage, musical guest...MICHAEL BOLTON!!!" (she screamed this at the top of her lungs)

              I couldn't imagine two more super-cheesy cultural cliches being thrown together if I tried. Besides, what does one have to do with the other? Even my father would be annoyed.

              I just really think she's taken it too far. She is Emeril all over again - with worse musical guests.