Vanity Fair Features Rachael Ray

This is a first - Rachael Ray is the subject of a very long Vanity Fair article, complete with very cute pictures of Rach and her pit bull Isaboo, cooking breakfast in East Hampton, and showing some cleavage for all you boys out there while hanging out in an old red truck (hey, if Nicole Kidman can do it....). They are calling it a Web Exclusive, so I'm not entirely sure whether it actually ended up in the mag or not, but it is one heck of a great article.

The article opens with a description of Rachael at the Red Dress Fashion Show during New York Fashion Week. She is described as: "Waiting her turn, standing still, Ray is surprisingly, creamily beautiful, Sophia Loren's little sis." They talked to a ton of people about Rachael, including her mom, her sister, her brother, her Dad, her husband, her friend Vicki, and Food Network muckety-mucks.

I'm always looking for something new in these articles, and Vanity Fair did not disappoint. The article confirms that 30-Minute Meals is still the highest rated show on the Food Network. Here are some tidbits I learned that I'd never run across before.

On her voice:

"Bouts of croup in early childhood left Ray with her distinctive husky voice, and also meant lots of quiet time in a vaporizing tent, made with a broomstick and sheets, in her bed."

On her first cookbook, published locally:

"Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Meals sold 10,000 copies in two weeks at upstate Price Choppers; in three months it went into a second printing."

How about this for fate:

"Ray had cooked a 30-Minute jambalaya on a radio show and a man named Lou Ekus was in the area and heard it. He happened to be good friends with Bob Tuschman, the Food Network's senior vice president of programming. Ekus called Tuschman and Tuschman called Kiiffner [her publisher], who told him he'd be able to see Rachael Ray on the upcoming Today show."

On her goals when starting out:

"Her mom remembers that late one night, helping put the final touches on the first cookbook, she asked Rachael, 'If this ever became anything, where do you see yourself in five years?' Ray answered, 'I would love to be on The Oprah Winfrey Show or I'd love to work for the Food Network.'"

The ever popular Martha Stewart comparison:

"Ray has been called the 'anti-Martha' because she doesn't do precious or intricate recipes and projects. She doesn't speak in a hush as smooth as cake batter (she doesn't bake, period), and her 'easy-peasy' patter while cooking is driven by vivid words with a colloquial kick: smokin', screamin' hot, shimmy-shake, throw, knock, kick up the heat."

I thought this was a great description of Rachael's talk show:

"It's neighborly, like waving across the lawn and then coming into the kitchen for a chat and a snack."

Mario Batali had this to say about why foodies don't like Rachael Ray:

"Jealousy. She has single-handedly changed the entire cookbook market, and a lot of chefs aren't happy about that. Someone sells 50,000 copies of a book, it used to be considered very nice. Rachael's upped the ante. She's created a market where she can do two or three books in a year and they'll all sell a million copies."

On her cookbooks and recipes:

"It has to be something you can get in a grocery store. No special equipment. And I won't allow the books to be pricier than a music CD. Because they're collections of everything that I do on-air, and I just feel you shouldn't be paying more than you would for a popular song. I consider my food the equivalent of a pop song."

Go read the whole thing for yourself - it's definitely worth the time!

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