I will admit it, here, on the internet, for all the world to see: I hate Rachael Ray. That's right, I'm just like every other asshole with a Kitchen Aid mixer and a Le Creuset. I can't stand that woman. Her alarming smile. All those horrible things she says (you know what I mean). Her recipes aren't really that impressive or creative. She comes across as pretty dumb. She'll promote a recipe as healthy, when it's obviously not (my favorite example of this is when she made a pasta dish and said it was "low carb" because she didn't use as much pasta as usual -- seriously what the hell). She's just... annoying. If I had known her in high school I would have hated her.
HOWEVER I can also admit something else, something the other assholes can't: mostly I hate her because I'm jealous. I wish I could have her job. I want a show on the Food Network! I want to sell eighty bazillion cookbooks!
And you know, I'll even take this one step further: I admire what she's done. She's been able to make people less afraid of cooking. Cooking doesn't have to be hard or scary or even glamorous. Her dumbness (like when she "eyeballs" an amount and gets it fantastically wrong) makes her accessable. Just because I don't like perky people doesn't mean I don't know that everybody else does. Her recipes don't appeal to me, and that's okay -- because they are the kind of food that a lot of people want to eat. Hell, if she can get people back in the kitchen, I'm all in favor. I'm not opposed to easy and tasty food. I cook a lot of food like she cooks, in fact.
But back to the hating!
Recently I was in a grocery store, and I wanted to buy some crackers. Little did I realize that this activity is now fraught with peril. Choose carefully, mortal, else Rachael Ray's goddamn smiling face end up in your goddamn cupboard! Cripes. That's what I hate about her, she's so... oversaturated. Good on her for building an empire and a fortune, but Jesus H Christ, do I really need knives with her name on them? I'm opposed to the whole celebrity chef promotion thing generally. Sure, I understand, it's like basketball players and shoes. You gotta make a living. But it's symptomatic of everything that I dislike about that whole Food Network culture in general -- it's all about celebrity, not about talent, or the quality of what you produce.
Okay, I'm stopping myself right there. Now I'm just flinging poo at the unstoppable machine. What are celebrity chefs for if not being celebrities?
I miss the Two Fat Ladies. They were my idea of what a cooking show should be.