Why I Hate Rachel Ray

Another series of questions that people often ask me are, “What do you think of TV Chefs?” or “Do you watch Top Chef/Hell’s Kitchen/Iron Chef?” or “What do you think of Emeril/Alton Brown/Bobby Flay/etc.?” In short, people seem to think I am an expert on what is happening on TV since I am now a professional chef. And you know what? To some degree, they are right.

Warning: what follows is a very long blog post that is full of unproductive criticism of TV shows and/or celebrities that you might like. If you don’t think you’ll like it, please don’t bother reading, and for God’s sake, don’t write me telling me how much you love them and their shows. I promise you that the only thing I care about less than who is going to win Top Chef, is what you think of the show. But seeing as how this is my blog, I will therefore proceed.

First things first. I do NOT watch Top Chef or Hell’s Kitchen, or any of that other garbage. I don’t want to see amateur chefs compete against each other in a reality show format where they spend more time bitching about each other than actually cooking. If I want to see a bunch of whiny losers who can barely cook complain about each other, I would go back to culinary school.

So please, friends, stop asking me about these shows. I don’t like them, I don’t watch them, and nothing is going to make me start.

Then there is Food Network. Food Network as a whole has a very serious problem, and that problem is that they have only 5 or 6 celebrity chefs who star in all of their shows, The result is an annoying mélange of exclusively Euro-centric cuisine presented by unfathomably irritating hosts. In short, there are three types of show on Food Network:

    1. How to cook food from France or Italy
    2. A competition of people making very pretty food to be subsequently (and inexplicably) carried through an obstacle course
    3. Americans getting fat at large food festivals
Oh yeah, that’s entertainment.

But before you think this rant is all sour grapes, first let me tell you about a few shows/chefs on there that I find tolerable.

Yes, he’s a dork, but so am I…

1. Alton Brown. It is hard not to like the guy. Sure, his show Good Eats can be a little corny (ok, a LOT corny) at times, but his presentation of food science is fascinating and really informative. I have also met him, and I have to admit that he really is a good guy. I don’t have much against him except to say that sometimes he covers a topic that just does not warrant 30 minutes of television. Please, an entire show on barley? Give me a break!

2. Road Tasted. This is the show hosted by Bobbie and Jamie, Paula Deen’s sons. I am sure they will not be happy to know what I think of their mom (more on her later), but I find them to be down to earth and relatively fun and interesting to watch. But I can see myself tiring of them once they get 15 more shows. It is only a matter of time…

Takeshi Kaga made “weird” into an art form.

3. Iron Chef – both of them. The old Japanese one was fantastic camp. The incredibly odd “chairman”, the dodgy translations of Japanese to English, the actress on every episode who was so completely ditzy it was not to be believed – this was so bad, it was great. Sure, maybe I had not heard of half the secret ingredients they were using, but it was fabulous to watch: both from the aspect of appreciating their tremendous culinary skills, and from my love of old Godzilla movies. The American version is good because Alton Brown is there hosting, and many of the challengers are people I have heard of and like to see in action. Again, I can really appreciate what they are doing, and admire the creations unfolding in front of me. I don’t watch it every time it is on, and I was REALLY tired of the 10,000 replays of the episode with Giada De Laurentiis and Rachael Ray on there, but at least I can actually watch it for the full hour, which is much more time than I am usually able to spend on that channel.

So with those niceties out of the way, allow me to go through the major disasters that Food Network otherwise sees fit to air:

I don’t get it Bobby, do you think you’re a baseball player, or a bad ass? I’ll give you a hint: “C: None of the Above.”

1. Bobby Flay. Wow, has there ever been such a dick on the face of the Earth? Yes, he can cook. He is a fabulous plate designer as well – perhaps one of the best in America. But have you ever heard of the concept of humility you prick? When he went on Iron Chef Japan and won, he stood up on his cutting board (an insult in Japan) and waved the American flag. What a cock. And his latest clusterfuck of a show – Throwdown – has this line in the intro:

Bobby: “…I may even lose…”

Oh God, say it ain’t so Bobby! Even you?! Lose?!? I thought that was impossible!

Of course you might, you arrogant douche bag. For the record, the only two times I have seen the end of this show: he lost. That made me swimmingly happy. The only thing that would have made me happier would be to see him lose, and then get run over by a bus.

He has a cooking show based exclusively around the premise of selling a spice rub he invented. Apparently he is also
re-inventing the word “shameless”.

2. Emeril. How did this guy ever become a celebrity? Yes, again, he can cook. I used to watch him back when he was a guest on Julia Child’s show. He was funny, interesting and very informative. But this live show that he hosts now? I mean can anybody out there say “phoning in a performance”? Jesus, I can cook better than this guy does in front of that crowd. I can also do it without saying “Kick it up a notch!” even once. If I had paid to be in that audience, I would ask for my money back – even if I got to sample the food. Seriously, that crowd of mouth-breathers who sit there and watch this idiot for an hour while clapping like wind-up chimpanzees whenever he says “Bam!” are the target demographic for Food Network: they wouldn’t know good cooking if it bit them on the ass. So Emeril is free to jerk off in front of them for an hour and pretend that he is actually preparing haute cuisine.

And for the record, his spice blend, “Essence of Emeril” is labeled with total accuracy. I can rub it onto any meat, and the result tastes just like Emeril has sweated all over it. Horrific.

I would have the same
deer-in-the-headlights expression too if I ever saw the T-crane that pulled off this face-lift.

3. Paula Deen. Everybody has that one old annoying relative they can’t wait to send to an old folk’s home. For some reason Food Network thinks that taking one and filming them cook fatty food makes good sense to add to their rotation. The food she makes is outrageously terrible. This is cooking for people that think suspending banana slices in Jell-O is a fancy dessert. And if she were any more annoying, she would have to run for Congress. Her latest show – Paula’s Party – is like Emeril’s live show, only without the charisma. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, she will actually sit in the laps of some of the guests while feeding them her “food”. It is as embarrassing to watch as it is repulsive. This lady needs to be put into a nice, quiet home, where there are no kitchens and no cameras, and then forgotten about forever.

Pull Giada! Pull! I know those sweater cows are heavy, but you can straighten up!

4. Giada De Laurentiis. Cooking with cleavage. There are two great things about this cooking bobble-head doll, and she wears a low-cut neckline in every show to make sure we don’t forget what they are. She seems to be incapable of describing any food as something other than “crunchy”. Seriously, here is the Everyday Italian Drinking Game I made up:

    1. Drink every time Giada says any of the following:
    • “Crunch” or “Crunchy”
    • “Crisp” or “Crispy”
    • “Light”
    • “Fluffy”
    2. Kill your drink any time she uses any two of the above words in combination to describe one food. (Example: “Adding green beans will give it a sort-of crispy crunch.” Yes, that is an actual quote from the show.)
I promise you, you will be hammered in just 30 minutes. And Giada’s freakishly large head will suddenly start lookin’ pretty good.

Isn’t this the same jackass who hosts “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”?

5. Shows about Americans gaining mass en masse. Bad puns aside, this series of shows includes all the road trip shows to see 10,000 Texans stuff themselves with chili, or 3,000 North Carolinians argue about the best barbeque recipe, or to watch 5,000 West Virginians scrape opossums off the road. They are all the same, and all unwatchable.

Or perhaps they think we want to know about the secret life of Tootsie Rolls? Here’s the secret: they are full of sugar and are good for removing loose teeth. No need for 30 minutes on the subject.

Or maybe we want to see a chef stick a microphone in the face of nitwits “on the street” and ask them what they think about cupcakes. “Oh I like them,” comes the reply. Wow. Thank God we had that crack roving reporter to bring us that late-breaking news. These shows are like the sawdust found in cheap hot dogs – pure filler.

I have seen the face of evil, and verily it is she…

But all of this I have mentioned above is pure programming gold compared to the dark-haired purveyor of all things evil in the culinary world: Rachael Ray.

Where do I begin? Ah yes, the NON-STOP YELLING! She yells ALL THE TIME when she is talking. Even when she is trying to host an interview on her horrific talk show, she can’t talk at anything below 120 decibels. (For comparison, a chainsaw is 110dB.) Add to this the fact that her voice is as gravelly as Lucille Ball’s was after smoking a carton of Lucky Strikes, and the result is a sound that I can not only hear from three rooms away in the house when my wife is flipping through channels, but also one that makes me hiss in fear and anger like my cats whenever I hear it.

-“EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil”. That’s what she actually calls it: “E-V-O-O, Extra Virgin Olive Oil”. Note, I did NOT say she calls it “E-V-O-O.” If she just stopped there, it would be merely stupid. But she goes all the way to the level of “taking the short bus to school” by using the acronym, and then spelling out what it means for us right after. WHY?!? What is the point of using an acronym if you are then going to say what it means right after it? Pick one or the other! I don’t go around saying, “Yeah, I need some money from the ATM – automatic teller machine, but I can’t remember my PIN – personal identification number, so I guess I can’t check on the balance of my CD – certificate of deposit.” I would sound like a retard, and thus, I guess be eligible for my own cooking show.

-The non-stop whoring. No, I am not implying she sells her body in a sexual way, but she sure as hell sells herself in every other way imaginable. Cheap knives, bad food, pathetically under-tested cookbooks, crappy place settings – there is NOTHING she won’t attach her ugly mug to. I can’t even eat a Nabisco cracker now without having to look at her. Her face is on EVERY SIDE of a box of Saltines! And she would be on every side of this box of Triscuits I am holding right now if it weren’t for those pesky “nutrition facts” on one of the sides… How inconsiderate of the government – don’t they know that they are depriving us of the opportunity to see even more images of Rachael’s face? And on the back is a recipe from Rachael. How special. Yes, it is a Tuna and White Bean Salad. No Triscuits in it – just something to spread on them. And what is one of the ingredients? “1 Tablespoon EVOO – extra virgin olive oil” No, I am not kidding, it REALLY says that on the box. Nabisco, I am gearing up for a boycott of your crackers…

And you probably thought I was kidding. Shame on you!

-Her shows. $40 a Day, 30 Minute Meals and so many more. Doesn’t Food Network realize there are many more talented people out there who could do these shows, and do them so much better? Alas, Rachael brings in the ratings for some reason, so she is everywhere. And now she has a talk show on Fox. Her shameless self-promotion makes Oprah (the one who set the original standard for personal whoring, and a producer of this train wreck) look introverted by comparison. The crowd appears to be the same crowd from Emeril’s show carted over to clap like circus seals for her. But for some reason, they only bring over the women. It’s just as well since any guy in that audience either has been (or must instantly be) castrated. We have to keep the gene pool clean people!

Not only is this not sexy, it looks like she could eat that whole turkey in one bite.

– Her giant freaking mouth. It is unreal. It literally stretches from one ear to the other. She looks like she could eat a banana sideways and still have room for pint of strawberries. Throw some yogurt in there, and she could make herself a smoothie without a mixer. If she ever wanted to dress up as a clown, it would take two tubes of lipstick to ring that giant wall of teeth she has. This is a not attractive woman, but for some reason she apparently thinks she is, and the people at FHM Magazine thought so too – enough so to have her pose for some photos. If I could sandblast any images from my brain, it would be these. They are truly nasty, and if any of them ever went on a box of Triscuits, I think I would forever be incapable of eating anything that had an even remotely crunchy texture (which would be a real blow to what I could eat from Giada’s show…)

So there you have it – my personal vendetta against food shows, Food Network and all the celebrity “chefs” they have on there. There is a real need for some quality TV in this country, and I will address that issue as soon as I’m done watching the latest “shocking paternity test results” on Maury.

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One Response to “Why I Hate Rachel Ray”

  1. Judy says:

    OMG, Matt, you hit the nail on the head on every single one of these celeb chefs! Bravo! No one irritates me as much as Rachael Ray, but Paula Deen is a very close second. I honestly cannot watch Rachael Ray without screaming at the t.v. Her mouth is so huge that she can’t even talk without it going up, down, from side to side…she looks like a damned contortionist. Does she put stretchers in that grand canyon every night–she could fit a football in that mouth. And just love her photoshopped image every month on her magazine. Right now, I am screaming, “Get your hand off your ugly face.” Gotta turn her off. My blood pressure is peaking.