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Defending Rachael Ray
Monday, July 10, 2006 | posted by Mike

I came across a year-old article, Rachael Ray: Why Food Snobs Should Quit Picking on Her by Jill Hunter Pellettieri on Slate.com today. The article defends the Food Network star’s style and outlines the dislike that many have for Rachael Ray, as well as the fact that much of the criticism takes issue with her lack of formal training and focus on easy-to-make food. It also mentions her penchant for giggling for no apparent reason, but I’m guessing you either find that endearing or you don’t. Me, not so much. But, hey, lots of people do.

What really interested me is the fact that this article came out almost exactly one year ago, but it might be even more relevant today. We recently saw the launch of Rachael Ray: The Magazine and we’re getting our first peeks at Rachael Ray: The Daytime Show. What I’m getting at is that the criticisms – that she’s a culinary lightweight who is more style than substance – are being reinforced in the minds of those who feel that way. And the growing “media empire” will only fuel it as time goes on.

Is the feeling just that Rachael Ray is so loved by so many people that she won’t face the popular backlash that Martha saw (even before the stock issues)? And is RR’s appearance on an upcoming All-Star version of Iron Chef America, as mentioned on GiadaFan, a chance for her to reassert her culinary bona fides?

We’ll have a lot more to say, especially when the show debuts. I’m also going to want to dig into this notion of there being “everyday chefs” and “culinary wizards” when it comes to TV food celebrities. Are foodies too elitist? And didn’t the Patron Saint of Food TV®, Juila Child, make great food accessible to the masses? I promise this will be a recurring theme in our future posts.

See you then!



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