Whenever Rachael has a new cookbook out, she goes and makes the rounds, talking to reporters and appearing on talk shows. Rightnow, she's promoting the Yum-O! The Family Cookbook, which was released on April 29. Here are a few of the highlights, but you can listen to the interview and see all 10 questions here.
Why do you use extra-virgin olive oil on everything? Katherine Hote, PHOENIX
That's how my family cooks. I try to cook a little bit of everything, but when it comes to what I enjoy, it's Mediterranean because that's what I am most familiar with.
You've had a lot of negative comments concerning your personal and professional life. How do you not let it get you down? Amelia Leung AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
People gossip about you no matter what. With regard to the tabloid press, my husband and I have been through the whole gamut of emotions. First we were angry, and then sad, and then back to angry again, and then frustrated, and then we wanted to hire lawyers, and then at the end of the day you're like, Really? I don't have anything better to do? People are pretty divided about Martha [Stewart] and anybody who does this intimate thing where you're not only in people's homes but you're in their kitchens. There is very little [said] that isn't true: I'm not a chef, I don't bake, I am loud, I am goofy, and after a while, my voice is annoying.
If you had the chance, would you punch chef Anthony Bourdain [for the things he's said about you]? Be honest. Dharan Kumar KALAMAZOO, MICH.
No, I actually love and appreciate Tony Bourdain's work, and I think everybody has the right to their own opinion.
With all your books and shows and magazines, do you feel you have become overexposed? Drew Pencek, WASHINGTON
It would be sort of a waste of energy for me to worry about that because it's not anything I have control over. I do manage it. I don't put my name on things I don't believe in. I love every page of our magazine. I'm extremely proud of it. I work very hard on each cookbook to make it different. I'm extremely proud of [the television show] because it really focuses on the viewers themselves.
Have you ever turned down a product-endorsement deal? Tim Smith, SAN DIEGO
Thousands, and some products that I love and use. It's just that there is a finite amount of time in the day.
If you were stranded on an island but miraculously it had a refrigerator, what 10 ingredients could you absolutely not do without? Matthew LeMay PHILADELPHIA
I'd have to have olive oil, garlic, pasta, canned fish--anchovies if I had to pick just one--cheese. If my husband were on the island with me, then I have to have salami. I've got to have some prosecco and some other wine, and you need your roughage, so escarole--and I have to have some beans, so I'd pick white.
There's an old axiom: Never trust a skinny chef. Any comment? John Rhodes, SALT LAKE CITY
Well, if he's trying to say I'm too skinny, thank you. I've never loved clothes enough to give up food, and I never will.
Photo from Time.