Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Rachel Ray - A Legend or a Hype?

All right, the winner of this week's poll is clearly Rachel Ray, who rules the hearts of many food-lovers and young, aspiring chef's alike. Personally, I admire and respect her. She has carved a place for herself in the highly competitive food industry through sheer hard-work and determination. True, she's gifted too, for its not easy to cook delicious food, which many of us will vouch for, but its one thing to just live with your passion, another to make a living out of it, and exceptional to rise to a food celebrity status holding on to just your passion. What I like about her is that she's still very down-to-earth, grounded to her values, and honest to her love of cooking and her profession. I could be wrong, as I don't know her personally, but that's the kind of vibes you get from looking at her.

Birthday: August 25, 1968
Place of birth: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Food Network Shows: 30-Minute Meals, $40 a Day, Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels

The legendary Rachel Ray inherits her cooking skills from her Italian maternal ancestors, as she's mentioned a lot of times on her shows, and by her early 20's, she had started working at Macy's, first on the candy counter, then as Manager of Fresh Foods dept. From there she walked on to be a buyer, pub and restaurant manager, and finally a Chef. How she attained her celebrity status with 2 popular Food network Shows, "30-Minute Meals" and "$40 a Day" is known to all. She also launched her own talk show in Sepember 2006, has a biography written on her life, and has a series of best-selling cookbooks. Her online magazine "Everyday with Rachel Ray"is a great resource for food-lovers and cooks. But its not all "rosy" for the famous chef, as fame brings fans and enemies together, and you won't be surprised to find dedicated sites like "rachel ray sucks!" online!

I woudn't say that I am a great fan of her cooking though, because most of her items use the same ingredients, and she doesn't make food from scratch. I believe a good cook should know what goes into making a dish, the ingredients, their flavours and proportions. Its easy to mix ready-made items, sauces and some leftovers from home and make a meal, but that's just a one-time meal. To really relish your food, you need to put in some more effort, and that creativity and dedication is what makes an ordinary cook a great chef. And Rachel Ray probably falls short in this criterion.

At the end of the day, what is good or bad is for an individual to decide, and I'm all for giving credit to this woman for her hard work, and in her own way, she still continues to be an inspiration to many of us, right?!

What do you think???

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