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May 12, 2008 03:37 PM

Rachael Ray Tidbits

Ok, first off this isn't a bash session, just some interesting things I noticed.

1. She is a Dunkin Donuts spokesperson, but thanks Starbucks in her books and makes no mention of Dunkin Donuts.

2. I keep reading threads and articles about how her 15 minutes are up. Didn't people say the same thing about Martha Stewart & Emeril? Heck didn't Martha Stewart just buy Emeril? Which makes me think...if you could buy any food network personality, who would it be? I would love to have Chairman Kaga yell "allez cuisine" right before I poured a bowl of cereal one morning.

3. If you want a good laugh, google Rachael Ray and click images. It's all pictures of her in suggestive clothing....ok it's her head superimposed on other people's body. Too funny!

4. She has 14 cookbooks which sell like hotcakes and she's not a chef. What does this say about the average persons taste buds. Ok, that was mean, I have one of them, but that's because the sent it to me by mistake. Honest.

5. Her Tv show gets 2.3 million viewers. That means if every viewer of each show spends 1 penny on her show she'll make 5.98 million dollars a year. She actually made $6 million from her books and tv show. She now has a contract with Dunkin Donuts and a Cutlery line.

6. She's cute. She may be annoying and overexposed, but she's cute. If she looked like Anthony Bourdain, we wouldn't want to buy into her act. Although I gladly buy into his every second he's on tv...and in a culinary way!

7. She's from a restaurant family, so why shouldn't we believe she knows food? She's more experienced than most of us chowhounders. Isn't she?

8. If she didn't have something to offfer, people wouldn't spend so much time bashing her. I laugh at all the threads criticizing her every move. Don't you people have remotes?

9. Has anyone cooked any of her recipes and had a near death experience? No, because they are simple, and probably rather tasty.

10. In the time it takes you to read this, you could have made a pop tart. Seriously, I live alone and I cook for myself a lot. Do I want to spend more than 30 minutes cooking? Sometimes, but that's a different story. At the end of the day, people want a nice meal and they don't want the hassle of slaving over a hot stove. She gives people an option other than takeout, which as I can say from first hand experience, is slowly killing us.

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  1. 6. Am I the only one who think Anthony Bourdain is crazy hot?

    everything else, I pretty much agree with. Yes, she can be annoying, but she has shown her 2.3 million viewers that the McDonalds drive thru is not their only option at 6pm on a Tuesday night. Anything that gets people off the couch and into the kitchen, not to mention reading books, is ok in my books

    6 Replies
    1. re: hungrystudent257

      I'm just real, real curious as to how many of the people who bought her books actually endeavor to cook anything from them and aren't just buying them because they're into her as a personality - y'know, the whole total fan experience syndrome. I would expect, with that many sold in total, there's quite a bit of shelf sitting or at most, auditing.

      I could be wrong, but I do have to put the question forward...

      1. re: Scortch

        An interesting question. I'm related to a couple people who bought one of her first couple cookbooks, and like them. But I don't know how much they actually use them since the initial purchase. (But that's true for 90+% of my cookbook collection!) .

        Based on their reviews, I checked one of her early books out of the library, thinking maybe reading a recipe would be easier than watching the show, but I found the typography very difficult to read -- which I found fitting, an attempt at retro glam with less thought given to practicality. The recipes also tried to teach you her tips like listing "two turns around the pan" and "a palmful" for measuring oil and spices and such. Cute in a gimmicky way, but the wordiness gets in the way of understanding the recipe. I myself am likely to eyeball oil and spices and such, but I'd rather have the recipe use standards of measurement, since that gives me a better idea of where to start.

        But then, I actually cooked one of her recipes twice, and I haven't cooked anything from our Emeril book, FWIW ;-) Joy of Cooking, Silver Palate, Bittman, Moulton...there are some front-and-center books.

        1. re: Scortch

          What I want to know is who buys her brand of "EVOO"?

          1. re: joeyz

            hilarious, I just saw that this past week at the store, as well as her RR beef stock.. i laughed when I saw it.

        2. re: hungrystudent257

          I definitely could go for Anthony Bourdain. And I find Rachael quite annoying but many of her recipes are fine. I wouldn't buy her books but I was given one as a present and I've cooked from it and lived to tell the tale.

          1. re: hungrystudent257

            Trust me...your not. I am so attracted to him and I can't even begin to explain it.

            And for the record I have about 3 of her books...the earlier ones. When I was in college I cooked from them a lot and so did a lot of my friends. For a new cook they are pretty good. Do I find her annoying---yes...and increasingly so over the years. But if you have a new cook in your family, living on their own, Rachel Ray cook books are a nice present.

          2. People tout RR and Sandra Lee for their cookbooks because they make it easy and they make it that much more available to the rank amateur. But these are the same people that live and die by the prepared products that are out there, RR not as much as SL. So how is what they make any different from eating out? From a nutrition point of view, you can say that the restaurant foods are possibly better for you if you get frozen or canned foods to prepare the dishes because they are the most convenient.

            From an economic point of view, you can eat out and get two meals out of the one meal with the portions that they serve at these Applelihanday. If you added in time, energy, cleaning, food etc. Is it all that economical? Cooking for the family definitely has its economies of scale argument built in, but how about the single person, which is who I think a majority of RR's marketing is geared toward.

            If people didn't like cooking, are they gaining an appreciation for cooking from the RR and SL cookbooks and shows? Why would someone who dislike cooking buy their cookbooks in the first place? If you are heavily into cooking, why would you waste your time with their particular cookbooks?

            To piggy back on the previous question of who uses the cookbooks other than as a shelve decoration, who buys this stuff and why?

            So what is it that they are giving their fans other than a vicarious thrill?

            3 Replies
            1. re: Phaedrus

              I think there's a vast middle ground between people who love to cook and people who hate to cook, and RR's audience is somewhere in there -- people who are interested in cooking, but not particularly confident. The recipe I enjoyed was a simple stir fry thai chicken -- it got me to try using hoisin sauce and thai fish sauce for the first time, and otherwise used all fresh ingredients (boneless skinless chicken breast, of course, plus some fresh veggies and fresh basil, IIRC).

              This is way better than my mother's fallback cookbook, a certain southern church recipe collection -- she and my grandmother rave about how many recipes they use and like from there. I keep going back to it and looking for what I'm missing, but it all seems to be variations on cream of blank casseroles. Both women are known to be good cooks because they are hospitable and do cook at home rather than pick up takeout for the potluck or somesuch. If either of them would cook RR's recipes, I'd be relatively delighted -- RR is my mother's favorite FN personality.

              I also daresay that people get the books as gifts ;-)

              1. re: Phaedrus

                To lump Rachel Ray and Sandra Lee into the same category isn't fair to Ray. Especially in recent seasons that I've seen of her 30 Minute Meals shows, she uses very few packaged items (mostly boxed broth/stock and canned beans/tomatoes) and a few seasoning blends along with store bought cookies or ice cream on occasion. I was actually surprised after the "buzz" on websites to find that she started with fresh onion, fresh garlic, and fresh herbs quite often. Not liking her food or personality, no quarrels there but she certainly isn't taking the "shortcuts" with processed foods in the same way that Sandra Lee is.

                1. re: ccbweb

                  I agree completely and have been meaning to post on that as well. I do find her personality jarring, but she is nowhere near Sandra Lee, which does get watched for comedic/I-feel-bad-about-myself reasons.

              2. 1) LOL. that's a big one in the PLUS column for her in my book.

                3) Some of those pictures are REAL, from a shoot for FHM magazine. French maid outfit, licking chocolate off a wooden spoon. I'm pretty sure those are really her.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

                  3. If you want a good laugh, google Rachael Ray and click images. It's all pictures of her in suggestive clothing....ok it's her head superimposed on other people's body. Too funny!

                  Yeap, that her and she only recently became DD spokesperson. When was the last book she had published.

                  1. re: mkel34

                    If her show was more like those FHM pics I would be a regular viewer...

                    1. re: joeyz

                      You know, I seriously wonder why Food Network hasn't done that with at least one of her shows. They've already make most of their programming have the actual food as an afterthought so why not dress RR down a bit.

                      1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

                        She doesn't do much for me. Nigella on the other hand....

                        1. re: Phaedrus

                          Plenty of room for both in my (cook)book!

                2. 9. Has anyone cooked any of her recipes and had a near death experience? No, because they are simple, and probably rather tasty.

                  One gal apparently cooked every single recipe in her 365 menus book. I don't think she died, and a few apparently were pretty good, but a lot were thrown in the trash after one bite and they ordered pizza.

                  I had that cook book.... surprisingly... also an accident from LOL. Few photos. Nonsensical directions. And some recipes.... like chopped up hotdogs IN the hamburger..... oh my. I think I'd be better off with a salad from McDonalds.

                  1. While on Google, check out the Rachael Ray Drinking Game - it's hilarious, and I bet you couldn't last an hour!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: newfie29

                      holy crap, that was hilarious! i am getting weird looks at work for cracking up!