The New York Times Profiles Rachael Ray

David Carr recently wrote a profile of Rachael Ray for the Media and Advertising Section of the New York Times. My favorite thing about it? His characterization that Rachael Ray gives her fans the gift of time. That certainly sums it up poetically, doesn't it?

Carr also says that Rachael is "ditzy like a fox" when it comes to her business. As an example, he cites her crazy good magazine sales when other magazines are hurting. The article notes that "'30 Minute Meals' is the highest rated show on the Food Network and with the addition of her other shows about budget travel and dining, more than 11 million viewers watch her every week." That's us, huh?

Carr then moves into the same type of analysis that lots of the media tend to do these days - figure out why so many of us like her:

Whatever is at work here, it isn't just the food. Ms. Ray's ad-hoc kitchen ways - spices measured by the palm and mistakes covered up with more olive oil - represent a sharp departure from the aspiration that drives most cooking shows and magazines. She prepares food on the fly that actual civilians can make and eat, an approach that people with serious culinary backgrounds generally find unbearable; they see it as a plague of locusts served over a bed of toads in runny sauce.

OPRAH taught us we can be better human beings. Martha taught us we can do better than is humanly possible. And Ms. Ray? She thinks better is overrated. Now, you want some nachos and a cold one to go with that?

In the face of criticism, Rachael was self-deprecating, as usual. She admitted that she is not a cook and that not everyone is going to like what she has to offer.

I think many critics assert that Rachael is bad for food because she doesn't teach gourmet cooking. But they forget that many of us aren't interested in cooking all day or we don't have the time to cook all day. Her value isn't in teaching gourmet cooking, it's in teaching regular people how to incorporate cooking into their busy lives. Her recipes include fresh vegetables that I certainly never ate before I started cooking.

Some might not like Rachael's personality, but she helps us get dinner on the table - how can you criticize that?

Read the full article here to find out what some viewers and our good friend Anthony Bourdain had to say about Rachael. UPDATE: The article is now available only in the archives. My bad.

6 comments:

  1. Sadly, the article has already fallen into the archive section. You have to pay $5. to see the article.

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  2. Bummer. Note to self - post New York Times stuff faster.

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  3. I think what I can appreciate is the fact that she's real. Yeah, she grates sometimes, but come on, doesn't Martha? or Oprah?

    I wasn't taught how to cook, I had to make do on my own. Rachael has given me so many helpful hints that I can understand and appreciate. I will never cook a meal of Emeril's caliber and that's fine by me...but Rachael gives us something easy and fast to work with. I appreciate that.

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  4. You are so on top of things. My mom just sent me the article in the mail and I was going to email you about it!!

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  5. Unfortunately I waited too long since it's in the archives now!

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  6. Jennifer - you and I are in the same boat. I thought my parents cooked, but the older I got, the more I realized they didn't! There were so many veggies and foods I hadn't tried, mostly because my parents never made them.

    I've learned so much and tried so many new things because of her recipes.

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