The New York Post conducted a Question and Answer session with Rachael Ray to discuss what's going on for Rach these days. The first couple questions kinda crack me up, since they are so negative. Maybe the interviewer had a case of the Mondays or something?
Here are a few of the most interesting questions and answers, but you should go check out the full article.
How do you think you've managed to reach this level of success with no formal chef training?
I think the brand and the shows are successful because they're very accessible. Everyone can look at anything in the magazines or books or TV shows and know that they can do it themselves. So it's that level of comfort. People know that if they try any of the stuff they're watching or reading about, they'll probably have a good success rate.
Americans eat pretty poorly. Do you think this can change?
I think it's gotten a bit better. People are learning moderation, especially because so many young people are into cooking, and they're doing this whole fun movement of their own and getting more involved in their diets. I think little by little we're gonna see a generation of people that are really kind of foodies. It's about little steps - not about giving up mac and cheese, but using whole grain pasta instead of white pasta, and working in a few more veggies.
As your empire grows, are you still hands-on in every aspect of your business?
I write all the recipes. People would know if I didn't because I'm not a chef - I do things differently. I do 90 percent of my work on the magazine on my computer and send it in. The books aren't as much of a challenge as they might look, because the core of those books comes out of work I have to do anyway. I pick whatever we were doing that year on the shows, and build up from there.
What have you learned about cooking that you didn't know before you became famous?
Food is a wonderful hobby because you're always learning, every time you eat out, travel or talk to someone in a grocery store. I don't think I'm any more skilled than when I started because a chef is a chef. I would have to go through some serious, hardcore, back-in-the-day cheffy school to really be a master. So there's a certain skill level I don't think I'll ever attain. I'm comfortable chopping onions the way I chop onions. I'm 39 years old, and I've been chopping them that way since I was 10.
With all your traveling, what are your favorite places to go?
The open food markets. It's where you really get to know the culture and the food at the same time. My favorite things over the years are all the different spices, pastes and jarred sauces you can bring home, because food is a wonderful thing like that - it's a way to keep re-living your travels. It can remind you where you come from, or it can take you back to all the great places you've been.
Photo from Every Day with Rachael Ray.