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Millionaire Celebrity Chefs

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?

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  1. 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.

    1. 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. 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

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

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

          1. re: mcf

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

            1. re: miss_belle

              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

                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

                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

                  And several hours to clean up after!!!

            2. 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

                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

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

                  1. re: wincountrygirl

                    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

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

                      1. re: ennuisans

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

                        1. re: wincountrygirl

                          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

                            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

                        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. 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. 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

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

                          1. re: pine time

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

                            1. re: HillJ

                              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

                                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

                                  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

                              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

                                And, of course, her head.

                                Hence her nickname.

                                I'm a fan by the way.

                            3. re: ennuisans

                              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. 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. 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. 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

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

                                    1. re: mcf

                                      Thanks, I knew he went somewhere during the week.

                                      1. re: Bellachefa

                                        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

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

                                          1. re: C. Hamster

                                            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

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

                                              1. re: mcf

                                                Google Jeffrey Garten.

                                                Arrow down to Washington Speakers Bureau

                                                Click on speeches underneath his picture.

                                                1. re: miss_belle

                                                  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.

                                      2. re: Bellachefa

                                        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

                                          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

                                            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

                                              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

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

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

                                              1. 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.