- Back on the 4th I posted about how I had fallen out of love with the Food Network and garnered this comment:
Why are you guys so mean? I know, maybe Rachel is not the best cook or baker--but neither am I. I want to prepare meals for my family that are quick and enjoyable. What's wrong with that? Yes, the FN should bring back classic cooking shows that really TEACH. I am not confident enough in the kitchen to try new dishes from experts like Rosie. After mastering meals from Rachel, which don't require a lot of thinking, i have some cook notches under my belt. And that's ok for right now. However, once mastered I am looking forward to real-quality shows like Roise once had.
Rachel Ray bugs the hell out of me for a lot of reasons. One, her whole act is so damn saccharine that it makes me gag. "EVOO" and "Sammies". Damn! Sounds like some eight year old invaded the set of a cooking show or something. I am not a kid and I resent being talked to in baby talk. Use big people words, for Pete's sake. Shows like Cook's Illustrated and Jacque Pepin's Fast Food My Way have recipes are just as easy, quick and tasty - and guess what? They speak as though they are talking to intelligent adults! My god! It's so shocking!
The second thing I want to point out is that Rachel Ray does not develop the majority of her recipes. You ever watch "Next Food Network Star"? You ever see those people flitting around the edges of the kitchens in some shots? Those are the people who work hard making mooks like Rachel Ray look good. They are the people who went to culinary school and earned their lumps the hard way. They develop the recipes, write them up and pass them on to an editor who looks them over and THEN your precious Ray-ray gets them. By and large, Rachel has become a figure head for a huge machine. She has no professional experience. If you asked her how to fix a broken holandaise sauce, I am putting money she would have to ask one of the technical advisers for help before answering. (Hey Raspil - how do you salvage it?!! Put that degree to work girl!)
So much of Food Network is about entertainment. It is what makes money. And some ditsy girl spokeswoman is what people want. If consumers really wanted Sara Moulton or Cat Cora, those chefs would still be on the channel. The only reason Good Eats has survived is that Alton Brown put an entertaining spin on his messages. As the seasons go on - there is less and less science in his shows and more and more entertainment. Get the DVD's if you don't believe me...
By the way Anon - you don't mind if I call you that do you? How do you think I learned to cook? Sure I got a little bit from my mom, but mostly I taught myself from books. And not one of those books were endorsed by Rachel Ray or her ilk. If you really care about feeding your family good food, then get down the the local library and check out books by people like Mark Bittman (aka The Minimalist), Jacque Pepin, Marion Cunningham plus lots of others. Read reviews. Sometimes you will look through a whole book and only take one recipe away. And that's ok...becoming your own person is not something that you can buy in a box and just add water too. It requires you to put some effort into it.
If you really love food, you don't need someone dumbing down the recipes. You're a big girl (or boy). You don't need Rachel and her hollow shell of edu-tainment. Enough Pablum. No more milk toast. Cooking is not entertainment. It's not a spectator sport. It requires you to use your brain. It requires skills, intelligence and a willingness to maim yourself in the name of good nutrition. If you are not thinking about the food you cook, then you are doing it all wrong. You know what? I can walk into my kitchen and whip up noodles four different ways in about 30 minutes from just the items in my pantry. Rachel didn't teach me that. I taught me that.
So that is why I am so mean...I demand that credit be given where credit is due. I demand that I be addressed in a mature, adult manner. I demand more substance and less filler. And lastly, I demand that Rachel go on the air and admit she is a big fat figurehead who is pimping it out for the man... Of course, I can demand all I want. And I'm just adult enough to KNOW that none of them are going to happen.
So after all is said and done, Anon, I have one real piece of advice for you: Unhook yourself from Rachel's glass teat and try some solid food...