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Millionaire Celebrity Chefs

TomDel Jul 17, 2013 10:48 AM

Last night my wife and I were watching a rerun of "The Pioneer Woman". In this episode Ree Drummond was home schooling her kids and fixing them lunch.

This started a discussion about the reality of these shows. My wife thinks that Ree still home schools the kids and fixes dinner for her troop and the ranch hands every night. She also thinks that Ina Garten still roasts a chicken for Jeffrey every Friday night and Rachel makes 30 minute meals for John on most weeknights. I seriously doubt that these and the other millionaire celebrity chefs even set foot in their home kitchens more than once a month if that frequently. What do you chowhounds think?

  1. p
    pine time Jul 23, 2013 07:29 AM

    I think back to all the hoo-haw that developed from that "reality" show Jon & Kate + 8. They did begin as "normal" people, with twins & septuplets; he worked in IT, she shepherded the kids.

    As the show wore on, they both had cosmetic surgery, had multiple nannies, had multiple TV-paid-for chefs, drivers, McMansion house.

    So much for reality TV.

    While many of the chefs are truly chefs and run businesses, I'm sure the hoopla envelops them to some degree.

    1. c
      chefdaddyo Jul 23, 2013 03:38 AM

      Tom, your comment is absolutely effing hilarious!!! And possibly spot on!

      1. b
        Bunson Jul 22, 2013 01:43 PM

        I think a lot of the chefs in the millionaire club have too many things going on that demand their time to spend a lot of time in their kitchens or homes in general. I think I read that Eric Ripert cooks and eats very healthy at home, I've also read that many chefs after spending the entire day in a kitchen don't want to go home and do the same and will eat a burger or something else quick and tasty.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bunson
          C. Hamster Jul 22, 2013 03:46 PM

          Chefs eat a lot of Chinese

        2. HillJ Jul 19, 2013 07:23 AM

          Given RR's love of food vendors, I tended to believe she sampled her way through her full day. Lucky lady!

          1. b
            Bellachefa Jul 19, 2013 07:20 AM

            None of them are chefs. Ree must cook. Not like she can pack the family and head off to Olive Garden. Ina? Doesn't Jeffrey work/live in the city during the week? I'm sure she cooks him a meal or two on weekends. Rachel -urban and busy busy - a couple of meals a week tops.

            15 Replies
            1. re: Bellachefa
              mcf Jul 19, 2013 07:57 AM

              Jeffrey lives in CT to teach at Yale during the week, at least while school's in session.

              1. re: mcf
                Bellachefa Jul 19, 2013 07:59 AM

                Thanks, I knew he went somewhere during the week.

                1. re: Bellachefa
                  girloftheworld Jul 19, 2013 09:10 AM

                  wow I didnt know he taught that is cool.. I just thought he just went to that little tent she put up in the back yard.

                  1. re: girloftheworld
                    C. Hamster Jul 22, 2013 03:45 PM

                    He was the Dean of Yale Biz School until sorta recently. He's a very big deal on this own.

                    1. re: C. Hamster
                      miss_belle Jul 22, 2013 04:37 PM

                      I knew all that in addition to supposedly being worth 12.5M on his own. What I didn't know until now was his speeches. Google it. I don't think I like him as much as I used to..

                      1. re: miss_belle
                        mcf Jul 22, 2013 05:28 PM

                        That's not fair. Can you offer a hint?

                        1. re: mcf
                          miss_belle Jul 22, 2013 05:59 PM

                          Google Jeffrey Garten.

                          Arrow down to Washington Speakers Bureau

                          Click on speeches underneath his picture.

                          1. re: miss_belle
                            TomDel Jul 23, 2013 03:27 AM

                            Oh no, my wife will be devastated! You mean he's not the little Teddy Bear who can't grill a steak or buy the right spinach? He's so cute in his homey sweaters pecking away on his laptop while Ina slaves away in the kitchen.

                            I drive my wife crazy when I tell her that Jeff's probably banging some Yale grad student in his pied-à-terre in New Haven during the week while Ina's playing cards with all her gay friends.

                            1. re: TomDel
                              inaplasticcup Jul 24, 2013 05:17 AM

                              <snorts coffee>

                            2. re: miss_belle
                              mcf Jul 23, 2013 07:34 AM

                              Never mind.

                2. re: Bellachefa
                  Firegoat Jul 19, 2013 09:21 AM

                  Actually Ree can. Bartlesville and Tulsa aren't that big of a drive. No need to pack the kids. Leave them with the tutors/governesses that actually do the homeschooling.

                  1. re: Firegoat
                    tracytrace Jul 19, 2013 09:54 PM

                    My cousin is in the same homeschooling co-op that Ree uses. Now, she's a religious fanatic (my cousin, not Ree, sfaik), so we're not super-close, but I'm given to understand that the Drummonds do have a full-time teacher, a couple of assistant teachers, more than one babysitter/nanny, and a couple more "helpers" on staff. (Not judging, I would have a full staff of helpers if I could, too.)

                    1. re: tracytrace
                      juliejulez Jul 22, 2013 08:10 AM

                      You know, if I didn't have access to a good public/private school, but had the means, I would hire teachers to teach my kids at home too, even if I had all the time in the world.

                      1. re: juliejulez
                        girloftheworld Jul 22, 2013 08:19 AM

                        That is what they did on those big English mannors back in the day.
                        My mom is a teacher and she often said she would love to be a homeschool teacher..three families get together and pay the same that a public school teacher makes..it is cheaper than private school tuition for them.

                        1. re: juliejulez
                          tracytrace Jul 22, 2013 02:08 PM

                          Heck, yeah, I would too. In my misspent youth, I worked as a full-time teacher for a family in Brussels. They had twin 9-year-old girls, two nannies, and me. It was great to be able to really tailor the curriculum to their needs.

                  2. Njchicaa Jul 17, 2013 08:48 PM

                    Mario Batali posts pictures of the meals that he makes for his family regularly. He seems so down to earth and I love that he still cooks at home.

                    Ree? I don't think she cooks like that regularly. A home cooked, full-spread breakfast, lunch, and dinner? No way. I'm sure they have cereal for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch sometimes. And don't get me started on that FARCE of a "school day". She hires tutors for that.

                    1. HillJ Jul 17, 2013 08:38 PM

                      Serious Eats has been interviewing high profile chefs for some time and you might find the Q &A an interesting read. I did.


                      I don't believe there's a one size fits all chefs answer to this. Today, the schedules are demanding. Even with plenty of hands on all decks, high profile chefs still need to be the face of their empires. Like rockstars, they have a host of people surrounding them to make life work..but they are food lovers at heart and I've got to also believe they cook when they can with tremendous passion....when time permits.

                      1. e
                        ennuisans Jul 17, 2013 08:08 PM

                        Celebrity or not, I've read a few accounts of professional chefs/cooks saying they don't cook for themselves, sick of it after cooking for others. They seem to live off crackers and burgers and anything else handy.

                        TV chefs are probably more likely (totally guessing here) to cook for themselves because they tend to watch their figure and can't live on Big Macs. My mom's convinced that the only thing Giada eats is what she tastes on the show.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: ennuisans
                          pine time Jul 18, 2013 01:52 PM

                          I'm convinced that Giada gets her sustenance from the air. Or maybe from whitening toothpaste.

                          1. re: pine time
                            HillJ Jul 18, 2013 01:56 PM

                            Nah, healthy eating (small bites) & yoga. Being born with a good metab. doesn't hurt either.

                            1. re: HillJ
                              girloftheworld Jul 18, 2013 02:50 PM

                              I saw pictures of her when she came back from cooking school in Paris she was kind of chunky.. and still cute.

                              1. re: girloftheworld
                                HillJ Jul 18, 2013 02:53 PM

                                I think G's adorable. I've been told she has a def. sweet tooth but by all accounts after becoming a Mom decided to take her health & fitness more seriously. My sister knows her well, I don't know her.

                                1. re: HillJ
                                  girloftheworld Jul 18, 2013 03:02 PM

                                  she seems to me like she would be a very "hands on" crawl on the floor type mommy. SHe also seems like the type who keeps private life seperate from TV and propally can walk down the street and not "be" Giada and go about not being reconized

                            2. re: pine time
                              chloebell Jul 18, 2013 01:58 PM

                              Hahahahaha! I've been watching NFNS (haven't seen this past Sunday's yet), but dang........I think she's LOST weight. The only thing big on her is her boobs & teeth!

                              1. re: chloebell
                                C. Hamster Jul 22, 2013 03:42 PM

                                And, of course, her head.

                                Hence her nickname.

                                I'm a fan by the way.

                            3. re: ennuisans
                              miss_belle Jul 18, 2013 05:35 PM

                              One thing about dining at Giada's house(and I'm not a big eater) is that I would have to stop off at a drive thru on the way home. Case in point was one show where they had another couple over so they wouldn't need "babysitters"

                              She fixed a skimpy app and then tenderloin with rich mushroom sauce for the main. No potato, vegetable or bread. Chocolate truffles for dessert. And they all fought over the chocolate truffles.

                            4. juliejulez Jul 17, 2013 06:40 PM

                              I think Ree still cooks. She posts a one or two recipes on her blog every week. She also blogs about their every day life, and it seems pretty normal. She doesn't seem to travel or make appearances all that often unless she has a new book out. She went to a blogger convention recently but otherwise it seems she stays home. Besides she lives way out in the middle of nowhere so who else would do the cooking way out there?

                              I doubt Ina cooks every night, and Rachael definitely doesn't.

                              1. girloftheworld Jul 17, 2013 12:57 PM

                                They film in a "season" in eight weeks. Giada and Bobby use a rented house. Ree uses the "ranch house" which is part of her actual ranch where she use to give cooking classes and parties.. Ree I think realllly is who she appears to be on TV . I dont think Giada eats at all herself but is does cook for her husband and child...I see Rachel hitting the pubs for a beer and burger before going home to her hubby and dog and Ina and jeffery cooking together...the one I see cooking the most for fun is Alex G.

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: girloftheworld
                                  juliejulez Jul 17, 2013 06:42 PM

                                  They built the Lodge specifically for making a TV show, but she said they use it for family gatherings and stuff like that as well because they have a large extended family.

                                  1. re: girloftheworld
                                    wincountrygirl Jul 23, 2013 03:57 AM

                                    Alex and fun? The two don't seem to go together!!

                                    1. re: wincountrygirl
                                      ennuisans Jul 23, 2013 04:52 AM

                                      If you catch Alex G's first IC appearance, or her Cooking Loft show, she can be shown to have fun. Heck the Chopped After Hours shows show her as a bit more lively than regularly. I say all that because she does seem to have devolved into a dour Ina steez, and that's not good for anyone.

                                      1. re: ennuisans
                                        wincountrygirl Jul 23, 2013 05:32 AM

                                        I've never seen the Chopped After Hours. I'll have to DVR it. BTW, what is Ina steez?

                                        1. re: ennuisans
                                          wincountrygirl Jul 23, 2013 05:36 AM

                                          Is that show one of those you have to watch on line?

                                          1. re: wincountrygirl
                                            ennuisans Jul 23, 2013 04:07 PM

                                            Yes, After Hours is the online show where the judges cook the boxes. And presumably drink a lot.

                                            By Ina steez (style) I mean AG's solo cooking show seems to emulate Ina quite a bit (although dour is a bad word choice; that whole comment was full of bad word choices now that I look at it). Not dour but reserved, methodical.

                                            1. re: ennuisans
                                              wincountrygirl Jul 24, 2013 04:07 AM

                                              Thanks. Yes, I see your point about Alex's solo show. It's like she's holding herself back. Agreed, I did like her better on Next Iron Chef. I'll check out the online show.

                                        2. re: wincountrygirl
                                          girloftheworld Jul 23, 2013 12:48 PM

                                          what? I looove ALex! her sarcastic sense of humour.her passion for cooking...she is adorkable! if I had to be room mates with any chef I would choose her. I bet she would do pranks.

                                      2. m
                                        miss_belle Jul 17, 2013 11:28 AM

                                        I think Ina and Ree still spend time in the kitchen but I honestly don't know where RR would find the time - she's a busy gal!

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: miss_belle
                                          mcf Jul 17, 2013 12:46 PM

                                          She's also not a chef, says so herself.

                                          She's a home cook who makes 30 minute meals.

                                          1. re: mcf
                                            miss_belle Jul 17, 2013 01:36 PM

                                            You mean 30 minute meals that take at least an hour to prepare.

                                            1. re: miss_belle
                                              girloftheworld Jul 17, 2013 01:49 PM

                                              what? you dont have someone come set your Mise-en place for you so you can just pump put that three pot meal?

                                              1. re: girloftheworld
                                                breadchick Jul 17, 2013 05:26 PM

                                                And start with raw onions in the fry pan - cut to commercial - back to the fry pan and the onions are perfectly caramelized. Sure... this is in real time and no swap outs.


                                                They have been claiming her cooking is in real time and no swap outs since day one.

                                                Bull hockey.

                                              2. re: miss_belle
                                                mcf Jul 17, 2013 02:46 PM

                                                I wouldn't know; I think her food is gross.

                                                But again, she's not a chef, makes no claim to it.

                                                I like her, just not her food or show persona.

                                                1. re: miss_belle
                                                  wincountrygirl Jul 23, 2013 03:56 AM

                                                  And several hours to clean up after!!!

                                            2. pinehurst Jul 17, 2013 11:24 AM

                                              I agree with mcf.

                                              I think they might be in their kitchens more than I am since they (probably) film a bunch of episodes and then have time off to create new ones. So I see cooking as their vocation and their avocation.

                                              1. mcf Jul 17, 2013 11:16 AM

                                                I think they do because it's what they love to do. That's why they're chefs. I don't think they sought it as a profession so they could stop cooking in real life.

                                                Folks who care about food that much tend to want to make it their way.

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