October 19, 2005
Our Gal Rachael

Rachael Ray continues her dominance of all media today with an article in the New York Times.

No, I've never been in Queens. OK, just the once, but it wasn't me.

UPDATE: I started this as a comment, but it got to be longish so here it is in the post:

You know, it's kind of fun to trash the popular girl, but I really don't mind her that much. I dislike some of her recipes; and her unrelenting perkiness, which is fun in small doses, quickly grates on my nerves, but she's out for a certain audience and she understands what makes that audience love her.

Good for her. She's not my cup of tea, but I can understand those who like her a lot.

Wait- controversy is good for blog hits, isn't it? What I meant to say, of course, is that she once cooked a dog. Yep. It was a beagle, too. Named "Snoopy". Didn't even belong to her.

OK, OK, she didn't, really (as far as I know). But she did post this on her website under "Rachael-isms":

EVOO
EVOO is extra-virgin olive oil. I first coined "EVOO" on my cooking show because saying "extra-virgin olive oil" over and over was wordy, and I'm an impatient girl—that's why I make 30-minute meals!

Then why do you always say "E-V-O-O, Extra Virgin Olive Oil", instead of just saying "E-V-O-O"? You're giving us a longer phrase that take MORE time, not less. Crikey!

But she doesn't bug me that much. Really.

SECOND UPDATE:

I just noticed that you can Ask Rachael Anything. Keep it clean, bud. I'd suggest eliciting her views on the uses of pre-emptive force and economic pressure on rogue states in a multipolar world. But then, I'm a romantic.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at October 19, 2005 4:24 PM | TrackBack Print-friendly version
Comments

Hello Barrett & Meg -
For the past few days, whenever I go to your blog, my download window automatically opens and puts an icon with this name *banner1.html* onto my desktop. When I open it, it is basically nothing. But it is a weird thing. Is it just me?

Posted by Alisa on October 20, 2005 at 8:32 AM

Open question to our readers: Anyone getting that same problem? If so, what browser are you using and does it tell you where the banner is coming from?

Posted by barrett on October 20, 2005 at 9:04 AM

Mozilla Firefox latest version does not do that for me.

Posted by Bryan on October 20, 2005 at 9:29 AM

I am fine on Firefox.

I read that article about RR--and as much as she irritates me, I have to admit that she sounded like a kind of neat person in the article, and I cannot fault her for wanting to get people who would normally eat frozen food and takeout to cook.

But her voice and smile still bug me, and I think her recipes sound icky.

Posted by Barbara on October 20, 2005 at 10:24 AM

I don't get the problem in Safari or Firefox on MacOS. Grovelling through the HTML source, it looks like the problem is a Google ad for powells.com; Powells is serving up their banner as a gzipped HTML file, which most browsers will save as a download rather than rendering as HTML. (I've got ad blocking in my browsers, so I don't see the ads and thus don't have the problem; I'd guess Bryan is the same.)

Posted by Sweth on October 20, 2005 at 10:30 AM

Hey guys, I read the article on her yesterday and really enjoyed it. I don't watch the Food Network very often, but certainly knew who she was. I appreciated (in light of recent Julie (booo-lie) Powell mess) her down-to-earth frankness and how her rise to fame came about. Inspiring... and love the cabin in the Adirondacks! I visit my mom every chance I can get, enjoyed reading about someone else who's not "too cool" to go visit mom :)

Posted by Mona on October 20, 2005 at 11:09 AM

Using Firefox 1.0.7 with popups blocked and cookies enabled only on request - haven't seen this banner either.

After reading the NYT article, I have to say that I now don't dislike RR quite as much as I did. (although her name dropping of Mario Batali gave me pause) After all, she has never claimed to be more than she is or to have any specific training for what she is doing.

I still think she should use her influence to promote a greener kitchen <broken record>she could advocate the use of a garbage bowl AND a compost bowl and tell people to use cookie sheets instead of aluminum foil to cover platters</broken record>

When we first saw her on FoodTV, we quite liked her. And I'm quite positive that there is at least one of our staple dishes that are due to seeing something in one of her shows. (can't for the life of me remember what it was though - maybe it was putting kale into soup??) And after watching RR fix biscuit mix biscuits, my sister now likes to put asiago cheese into her biscuits (that she makes from scratch - as my sister said, "how much longer does it take and how hard is it to make biscuits from scratch instead of from a mix??")

-Elizabeth

Posted by ejm on October 20, 2005 at 11:41 AM

Everything fine in Opera, have no idea what anything is set to.

Last year she did a local book signing in Berkeley. A friend and I hopped in his truck to go ogle. It was fun and Sur La Table (where she was) had a line snaking out the back door, through the parking area and beyond.
I was able to get about 6 feet from her, she was really kind to everyone. Extra words for the kids and spent time with each person. I don't think I would be as kind, not after all the promo stuff she's been through.
Something to do I suppose.

Biggles

Posted by Dr. Biggles on October 20, 2005 at 1:45 PM

See--I give her extra points for being kind at book signings. I have been to lots of those, as I used to work at a Borders bookstore, and I have seen some really terrible authors act like utter divas to their fans.

Thanks for telling us that, Dr. Biggles--that makes me feel even better about her.

But her perkiness--it still gets to me. Florence King wrote of an affliction that hits Southern women, but it sounds like Rachael has it too--the "pert plague." She has all the symptoms of it.

I have a good immune system against pertness, because no one has ever accused me of being pert or perky yet.

Thank God.

Posted by Barbara on October 20, 2005 at 5:10 PM

I'm having the same problem. I thought it was only me! I'm on a Mac using Safari as a browser.

As for RR, I'd like to ask her if she knows what overexposure is and if she wouid recognize it when she sees it. Cause I do!

Posted by Amy on October 20, 2005 at 7:46 PM

No problems here in firefox...

I agree with you about her saying EVOO and then having to explain what that means all the time - We make comments on that often!

Posted by Joe on October 20, 2005 at 10:39 PM

Heh, I can pick at just about anyone for anything. I have the same problem with RR as I do with Emeril, FoodTV. The network has ruined these people for many of us. If RR and Emeril had themselves a nice PBS tv show, I don't believe they'd be so wildly hated. Course they wouldn't be filthy stinking rich either. So, I suppose it comes down to, Money versus Cool Factor. And I imagine, being cool and maintaining your self respect is fine for a while. But when you start looking in to retirement or at least your future? Cool don't pay the bills baby. Bourdain tried to sell out, he was too cool though. Here's a man, that has such a high Cool Factor that when he attempted to sell out, it failed. Now if we could find out what gene does that, we could inject all these obnoxious TV cooks/chefs and be done with it.

Biggles

Posted by Dr. Biggles on October 21, 2005 at 4:32 PM

It's interesting, but when I read Kitchen Confidential I found Bourdain to be a bluffer and an ass. When I saw his first show on the Food Network, I rather enjoyed it and got to like him.

I don't think it's money. I think it's overexposure and a thinness of content brought on by too many damn shows.

Emeril I can take or leave, and we've talked WAY too much about Rachael Ray. If you're going to pick the all-time hands down king of all cooking media, however (now that Julia's gone), it comes down to Alton Brown.

Now, I know America's Test Kitchen is quite geeky, and Jacques Pepin can make an amazing dinner for forty with an armadillo and two cabbages, but AB teaches cooking theory and practice better than anyone else, and he's on Food TV.

To be fair, Good Eats first aired on PBS, but that was only the pilot, and they didn't have the good sense to pick it up.

Posted by barrett on October 21, 2005 at 4:46 PM

Love the AB, how come you had to blow my theory by using facts on me?
Oh wait, wouldn't money be at the root of "overexposure and a thinness of content brought on by too many damn shows."
Don't eeven get me started on ATK. I had two years of Cook's Magazine to endure. Their "grilling" expert for the mag told everyone to NOT use a wood fired grill because the lid imparts bitterness to the food. I believe that was in nearly the first issue I received and it was down hill from there. Sorry for the tangent.
I'm hating FoodTV for the moment, let me wallow for a while. They give people who enjoy food a bad name.

Biggles

Posted by Dr. Biggles on October 21, 2005 at 5:04 PM

Dr. B - if you want me to agree with you whole-heartedly, just bring up "Semi-homemade". That show must die.

Posted by barrett on October 21, 2005 at 5:08 PM

Oh no. I don't know the show, but that doesn't sound right. Semi-homemade? See, they're evil.
Low Carb and Loving It! makes me scream. It's hosted by a portly gentleman and reminded me of a some infomercial. The one eposide I watched a portion of, he pulled out a 10 lb pork butt roast, poured low carb salad dressing over it and put it directly in to an oven. A kindergardner could cook a better meal, carrot sticks, a glass of milk and toast. Keeripes.

Posted by Dr. Biggles on October 21, 2005 at 5:22 PM

I despise Food TV now.

And I like Alton Brown, except he tells people that you cannot cook properly in a wok on an American stove.

Well, that is his opinion, and that is fine for him, but he is wrong. At least when it comes to woks and stoves. He just doesn't know the secrets to it, is all.

Emeril works my last nerve, because he will say stupid things like Zinfandel is a blended wine, when it is a varietal, and a lot of his food just looks icky.

Biggles--I so agree with you about Cook's Illustrated. I wish they would stop trying to do ethnic food, because they turn it into American crap every time. They bug me even worse than Emeril bamming! all over everything.

Next to that--RR is the least of my worries, and AB is a veritable saint.

Even if he is wrong about the wok thing.

Posted by Barbara on October 21, 2005 at 11:14 PM

I could just smack Rachael Ray and her damn E-V-O-O.

But then I get back to the States so seldom that it is quite a pleasure to watch her and her Food Network cronies when I do get the chance. I guess it all evens out.

It was a pleasure to meet you at Clotilde's party last Wednesday. :)

Posted by Alison on October 23, 2005 at 2:28 PM

Just curious...I wonder how many of you still feel the same about FoodTV and in particular some of the "chefs". I find most of their "chefs" annoying to the point of avoiding the network more often than not any more. There are some that I refuse to watch.

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