Rachael Ray Has the Right Attitude

Several articles have renewed my faith in the rule that positive reactions to negative people affect them more than any negative reaction could. As I am sure you are aware, there are tons of people that don't like Rachael Ray. I personally don't understand why they don't just change the channel, but whatever.

In this Esquire article, which is in the October 2006 issue, Rachael Ray responds to her critics and her internet hate clubs. Here are some excerpts:

What am I going to do? Call them up and scream, "You have to like me"? Start a response Web site called "you know what you suck.com"? It's like trying to get the class bully to be your buddy: a waste of time.

And the funny thing is, everything they say is valid: I'm not a chef; I'm a cook. But even the best chef in the world needs to know how to make a fast, tasty burger. Say what you want about me, but I throw down when it comes to burgers.

People say you can't make the 30 Minute Meals in 30 minutes. Yes, you can. I've done it. But it was never designed to be a play-at-home game show. I only called it 30 Minute Meals because when I invented it as a cooking class, Domino's was offering 30-minute delivery...you know, back before it got sued for running people over. So I figured if people were going to wait 30 minutes for pizza, they'd give me 30 to learn how to make a real dinner.

Yeah, some people find me annoying. I'm perky. I smile a lot. Hell, it's better than bawling. I speak in abbreviations. But if you had to stand there and talk to yourself for five years, you'd shorten some words, too. Yum-O? It just came out of my mouth one day, "yum" and "Oh my God" smushed together, because it was so good.

Whatever. We sold a lot of T-shirts with that one.

Talk about taking the wind out of their sails, huh? I recently read another article addressing the Rachael Ray hate clubs out there:

The would-be cyberfoodies who disapprove of the processed and packaged foods that Ray makes expedient use of do not understand the lives of Ray’s biggest fans.

Average folks in the hinterlands have a lot of distractions that urban foodies do not: children, ties to their community, spouses they want to spend more time with, neighbors whose names they know and various people who depend on them for things.

I couldn't agree more. Okay, I am standing ready for the hate email!


  1. Well I don't see her using a lot of processed food, for one. To be honest with you, I've learned to make Hamburger Helper/Rice or Roni like dishes without having to buy the box. not only do I save money, but I am providing fresh food for my family that isn't loaded with preservatives or MSG or fat/cholesterol/sodium.

    As for those who hate Rachael and create their own little hate sites, yeah, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but there are others who can say they love Rachael and yes, she may annoy us at times, but you can't deny her spark or what you have learned from her.

    So pfft!

  2. Hi Madeline - I love your blog! I just started reading it, so I was wondering if you found any of Rachael's recipes inedible. I make one of her recipes a week. Usually they are "keepers" as you say, however I just made Burgundy Beef & had to throw it out. Ever make that one?

  3. Jennifer - I agree! I always say that I eat som many more vegetables than I ever did before making her dishes.

  4. Janelle - Thanks for reading! I have made the Beef Burgundy and loved it! My husband and I made it for Valentine's day or some other holiday a few years ago. Did you use a good Burgundy wine? That's important because the flavor intensifies when you cook it.

    I have never had one of her recipes completely fail on me. There were some things that I didn't love mostly because I don't like one the ingredients, like shrimp or salmon, and it had nothing to do with the recipe.

    But trust me, if one ever fails, I promise to share the story!

  5. I love the last line re: Yum-O and how she's sold a lot of shirts so ... whatever. It's great that she can be so positive! I think I'd cry if someone made a hate site about me.

  6. I feel the same way Erin. And I bought one of those Yum-o T-shirts (the breast cancer foundation one), so it worked on me.

  7. I can see where people don't get Rachel. She makes things too easy and people who are that successful should be more complicated. Frankly, I am a much more confident cook (not chef) because of Rachel and I've learned more from watching her in the kitchen, than any other chef on television. She's not the anti-Martha, but she is pro-people.

  8. I think her attitude is terrific. I hope I could remain that positive if someone made a hate site about me. My husband finds her much too perky but even he appreciates that I've learned a lot from her cooking style that helps me put home-cooked dinners on the table. And he loved the Chicken with Wild Mushrooms and Balsamic Cream sauce that I made the other night.

  9. Susan - I agree. Everyone has different taste, right? Rachael certainly has given me confidence in the kitchen, too.

  10. Silvia - I admire her ability to deal with it, too. And so many interviewers ask her about it! That chicken dish sounds amazing. I will have to give it a try.

  11. I find it strange that they would spell he name wrong (pet peeve). Also she does not use a lot of processed or packaged foods(thats Sandra Seasoning Packet Lee) and that's one of things I like about her recipes (I have both likes and dislikes).

  12. Exactly anon...Sandra Lee talks about semi-homemade, but it's full of preservatives and things that are not good for you. Rachael makes her own versions of the things Sandra Lee makes.

  13. I am glad to hear that she is keeping up a positive attitude. I would probably back down, but this is why I am not in the spotlight.

    I can sorta see both sides, there are times(rarely, but times) when I look at something and think "what?!" (like the hot dog nacho's). But hey, she has tons of recipes out there, she keeps thinkin up fresh material and I really respect her for that. Because I know there is no way I could do what she is doing.

    Most everything I have tried by her is good, so I am a fan. It fits into my lifestyle(a husband on shift work and two young children).

    I actually started watching her after reading a forum of people that complained about her and thought "Is she that bad?" So I checked her out. At first her perkiness(more just her loudness, but you have to overdo it when you're on camera) was a bit abrasive, but after a few episodes, I really liked her. She's positive, which you don't see a lot of these days and she makes everything she makes seem very doable.

    She has stretched me by introducing different veggies than what I grew up with, got me into making my own salad dressing, and was the first person to convince me to invest in a nice knife and work on my knife skills(before I had no problems with my $20 "knife set"). So for that, I am very thankful to her.

  14. I'm always amazed at the time and energy people devote to their hatred of RR. But you know what, she's laughing at them all the way to the bank. She's incredibly successful, bottom line. But with all those people disliking her, I think she comes across as just letting it roll off her back.

    Sure, her constant hand gestures, abbreviations and sometimes even her voice annoy me, but I still love her recipes and I watch 30-Minute Meals (the only show of her's I like) whenever I'm home in time to see it.

  15. Such thoughtful comments from everyone! And I haven't gotten the usual crass, hateful emails that I usually get from one of these posts. [Knocking on wood.]

  16. i must say i love your blog and RR.
    well, i love her way of expressing herself. she is great! very animated indeed. and her food is so easy for us - very busy people. if many of us is more open and animated like RR we would be more succesfull. too bad we dont have such a great cook shows in bosnia like RRs - 30 minutes meals and others. even her talk show is great! regards from bosnia!

  17. Mira - thank you! Regards from California!


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