From Too Many Chefs -

October 9, 2005
The Big Issue

rr.jpgSome time ago, Barrett posted a short piece about a Rachel Ray "recipe" for a mini-cheeseburger salad. It was a slow day and it seemed an amusing little note in the food world. If any of you read it, I'm sure you have forgotten it by now.

Barrett and I are not so lucky. As administrators of this site, every single day we get a reminder of that stupid Rachael Ray. Because every single day at least one or two comments are posted to the piece and we receive a notification. If you Google "Rachael Ray Sucks" we are number four on the list. And if the current trend continues I'm sure we'll find ourselves at the top some day soon.

If you read the comments on the site you quickly come to realize that the outcome of the last US presidential election was less controversial and less hotly debated than the merits of a b-list celebrity chef. The Rachael-bashers are scathing about Rachael's talents. The Rachael-lovers are scathing about the Rachael-haters. The sling their barbs back and forth. They each claim the other is blind. They have no sense of irony. The dialogue is occasionally interrupted by one plaintive voice calling out (in the tones of the woman on the Simpsons, "But think of the children!") that they are insensitive/arrogant/irresponsible for discussing the merits of the woman when there is a tsunami/hurricane/earthquake/insert your disaster going on in the world. If you have a half hour to kill, I highly recommend reading the comments (all 137 of them) for the comic value alone. I especially like the people who apparently thought that by commenting on our site they were writing Rachael Ray herself.

Sadly, we were forced to moderate (read: delete) some of the more interesting comments in the interests of taste. Seriously, I never knew there were so many obscene cooking metaphors out there. To all the guys out there who dream of a curvaceous Girl Next Door who will Cook Just Like Mom while accepting the most perverse behavior...we would appreciate it if you would frequent one of the millions of porn sites on the web rather than ours. Top marks for creativity though!

After reading through all the comments, I thought it would be interesting to note which side of the debate got the most votes. And there you have it, the votes are counted: Rachael Ray does NOT suck. (Hm, I can see this leading to some more of the forementioned obscene comments. Sigh.)


So leave us alone already.

Posted by Meg in Sussex at October 9, 2005 11:28 PM | TrackBack

You could close comments on that post. You don't seriously think there's some kind of meaningful discussion that you're cutting off, do you?

As for Rachael, she just signed a deal with Oprah to produce her own talk show, so if you weren't sick of her before...

Posted by oscar on October 9, 2005 at 7:04 PM

Oscar, we have discussed closing the comments. Actually, I think it irritates Barrett more than me. It's kind of like watching a train wreck though...interesting in a kind of weird, perverse way!

Posted by Meg in Paris on October 10, 2005 at 1:50 AM

At the risk of encouraging another mail jam from RR lovers, I find myself compelled to comment. I missed seeing Barrett's post and the earlier controversy completely. I can't remember when my stance on RR changed but I think I had moved over to the 26% camp by then.

I usually watch FoodTV at roughly the same time each day. At few years ago, it was usually RR's 30 minute show. When I first saw her, I thought she was cute and she seemed to have some clever ideas for the busy cook. I only wished that that I could have her nifty oven and that rather than her one handy garbage bowl, she would have two bowls beside her - a garbage bowl and a compost bowl.

Then my husband saw RR on a new (then it was new) show. She wandered around Florence, Italy looking for cheap eats. He said it was a great look at Florence (and we still thought she was cute). So we sought out and saw another one of RR's 'Eat on $40 a Day' shows (or WHATEVER it's called) and I was appalled. For that particular episode, she was in Las Vegas. She seemed to have no idea how to find cheap good eats. She seemed to have no idea how to eat or who to ask where to eat. She seemed to be just going from tourist spot to tourist spot. Was it just an advertisement for the restaurants she visited? Did they pay FoodTV for the privilege of being featured? Was I spending too much time being concerned about it?

Then RR's cooking show was moved to a different time slot (Canada foodTV has a much different schedule and line up than the US foodTV) so I didn't see her for quite a while. But not too long ago, she popped up again. And, well, she wasn't so cute anymore and she was using canned and/or prepackaged everything and she didn't brown the meat enough and she drowned it in canned tomatoes and she covered something with about five yards of aluminum foil and (okay, okay, I'll end my run-on sentence now) I kept wishing that I could have her nifty oven and that rather than her one handy garbage bowl, she would have two bowls beside her - a garbage bowl and a compost bowl. And then I found a need for a third bowl beside me. A porcelain bowl. If you know what I mean.

So, have I moved the graph? Has the yes vote on the RRS (Rachael Ray Suckometer) changed to 27%?

-EV (Elizabeth the Verbose)

Posted by ejm on October 10, 2005 at 5:48 AM

Look out! Here come the comments, part 2!

I feel dumber and far more amused for having read all of the comments on the earlier thread. Mark me in the off-topic category!

Posted by Bryan on October 10, 2005 at 8:30 AM

Whatever you think of Rachael Ray look out! She's about to get Oprahfied. Oprah has apparently taken the perky chef under her wing and is developing a show for her.

Thank god! What with $40/Day, 30 Minutes, and the celebrity interview show, I didn't think Rachael Ray was getting enough exposure!

Dr. Phil was the last project Oprah had so we can imagine a big talky show like his for Ms. Ray. But those of us who find a little of her goes a long way can take heart. At one time Steve Gutenberg was everywhere, too.

Posted by barrett on October 10, 2005 at 9:08 AM

Perhaps RR getting yet another show is a good thing (Freudian slip on that phrase). We can always console ourselves by turning the TV off and going into the kitchen to make real food....


Posted by ejm on October 11, 2005 at 12:45 PM

I am so glad I don't watch TV.

Because I see enough of her on the cover of magazines, books, catalogs and on other people's television sets.

As for the comments--eh--I am in the train wreck camp. I still get comments on my post "Meat Comes from Animals..." which amazes me, as I wrote it months ago, but then, none of the comments are pornographic in nature and most of them are pretty thoughtful.

Posted by Barbara on October 11, 2005 at 10:39 PM

Barbara, having gone and researched the post ( for anyone else who's interested) I can see why you are still getting such a good response. It's a complicated issue (much more so that RR, no offense, Barrett!) and you've given a very insightful and well-reasoned post. Thanks for pointing it out!

Posted by Meg in Paris on October 12, 2005 at 2:25 AM

i would just like to say to all the nasty people out are just jealous of rachael ray..and that is why you pick on her...she is on tv and YOU are go,rachael!!!

Posted by trisha giurbino on October 20, 2005 at 6:32 AM

She is a cheap tipper on 40 a day

Posted by Pedro on November 21, 2005 at 4:25 AM

I don't mind RR.......I do though, hate how she is such A CHEAP TIPPER!!!! If you do the math each show you will see that she never tips well ...She averages 8-12% and here in the northeast we average less than $3 an hour PLUS TIPS!!!! We live on and for our tips. It is customary to leave 15% for ok, 20% for good, and 25-30% for great service ....(hey remember all those refills I got you before you even asked and directions i mapped out for you, should pay for the tip)

Posted by beccaroon on April 10, 2006 at 4:44 AM