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April 6, 2006

Manolo and the Rachael Ray

Filed under: Celebrity,Japanese Food,Manolo — Manolo the Shoeblogger @ 2:00 am

Manolo says, the Manolo he has the very complex relationship with the Rachel Ray.

On the one of the hands the Manolo finds the Rachael Ray to be supremely annoying, in the same way that the Manolo finds the Katie Couric to be annoying, which it is to say, that the Manolo disapproves of the bossy/bitchy person who hides behind the perky/nice exterior.

Yet, at the same of the time, the Manolo finds that the Rachael Ray she has the trainwreck quality; it is the rolling disaster, and many persons are injured, but you cannot take your eyes off of it.

And yet, on the third of the hands, there is this evidence from the Willamette Week Online.

In town to tape segments for another of her shows, Tasty Travels, Ray had already bought five pairs of shoes before spending time at the Pearl Bakery and Powell’s….

And so one must suspect that the Rachael Ray loves the shoes, and the loving of the shoes, it goes far with the Manolo.

And yet, on the fourth of the hands, there are the “cookbooks” in which the Rachael Ray suggests the making of the ultra-rapid meals out of the mundane items like the frankfurters and the canned sawdust, things you would serve to your family if you hated them.

And then there is the elimination of the Tony Danza, which, yes you feel sorry for the Tony Danza, such the befuddled and mostly harmless character, but this, is it not the sort of televised mercy killing? Something that ends the suffering?

So, as you may see, it is the love-hate-hate-love-disgusted-by-appalled-by sort of the relationship, in which the Manolo still finds that he cannot cease watching the Rachael Ray, if only to see what latest atrocities against fashion and common sense she has committed.


  1. I have never watched Rachel Ray, but I can’t resist a trainwreck — especially not of the sort you describe!

    BTW, I adore The Silver Spoon, and had to fight off several other would-be purchasers at my local bookstore to get it. From your description, it sounds like Rachel Ray is the anti-thesis of TSS, perfect fodder for ridicule.

    Comment by Joan — April 6, 2006 @ 9:00 am

  2. Oh, I forgot to say: what is she wearing?!?!

    Comment by Joan — April 6, 2006 @ 9:01 am

  3. I have been a long-time connoisseur of the superfantastic Manolo and his works, but as I appear to have mutated in the womb and lost my foremother’s passion for shoes, disdaining aesthetics in favor of comfort, I could only admire from afar. Now that the Manolo has turned his attentions to food, however, I can hope to admire from a position of true simpatico.

    However, I must respectfully disagree on the matter of Rachael Ray. There are no “other of the hands”. There is only the one hand. The Rachael, she is to food as the Lagerfeld is to fashion. She is, simply and unequivocally, Pure Evil.

    Comment by Lady Disdain — April 6, 2006 @ 3:31 pm

  4. Manolo,
    I’ve got to respectfully disagree with you on this one. I like her. I’m a bit worried that what started off as a genuinely exhuberent personality could easily slide into a fake perkiness that becomes self-parody. But I like to cook, and I also like paying my rent, so I work. I can’t spend 3 hours doing all of the preparation of every ingredient myself (some of the Food network chefs seem to think that all their viewers are homemakers. Wealthy homemakers). I find her meals very good and I can make them pretty quickly–I’m not certain which of her recipes you’re objecting to? I’ve really liked most of her meals, and have gotten enthusiastic requests for recipes when I made them for my friends.

    About the ingredients–my complaint would be that her recipes call for too many obscure things for someone who doesn’t live in New York or a major metro area. I live in a medium-sized midwestern city. Broccolini? Never seen it. Chipotle in adobo sauce? arrived on shelves for the first time ever last month. Basic canned foods, however, are available (I’m not talking about processed food, but canned kidney beans, frozen squash, things like that). So I’m not about to complain that she uses such things–an awful large portion of the US population doesn’t have access to the Trader Joe’s and other grocery superstores that I’ve read about (but never seen).

    Part of using any cookbook is figuring out where your tastes differ from the author’s. Rachael (it’s Rachael, not Rachel, by the way) likes her food spicier than I do. She often browns meat in olive oil, which is a legitimate timesaving trick that I’ve seen other people use, but I prefer to take longer (my choice) and omit it. I have similar patterns of differing from my Betty Crocker basic cookbook–I often find their recipes underseasoned, so I automatically adjust. And so forth with my other cookbooks.

    Cookbooks are guidelines. If you don’t care for her ingredients, substitute! I will say that her cookbook for children has one of the best introductions for the grownups I’ve ever read. She explains how to talk to your children, and I wish more people would read it.

    Delighted with the new blog. Keep it up!

    Comment by brackman1066 — April 6, 2006 @ 3:31 pm

  5. Hello to the Brackman!

    Many thanks for you most thoughtful note, especially for the correction of the spelling of the name.

    The Manolo’s main disagreements with the Rachael Ray are with the personality, which seems to the Manolo to be somewhat forced, rather than natural. Yes, the television it certainly demands the over-the-topness, but the Rachael Ray takes one step beyond the bounds of propriety.

    However, we must agree to the disagreement, with regard to the Rachael Ray, and we shall do so in the spirit of the mutual affection and admiration.

    Comment by Manolo the Shoeblogger — April 6, 2006 @ 3:44 pm

  6. The recipes of the Rachael are unnecessarily complicated. They are not as simple as they pretend to be. There is her vodka sauce for the pasta, for example, that asks you to include the chicken stock, which is unnecessary. Her popularity stems from the TV show, the bubbliness, and the books containing the many pictures of herself. The recipes in the books by the Elizabeth David, the Marcella Hazan and the Mark Bittman are probably simpler and require less ingredients than the recipes by the Rachael, but because they do not treat the food as a game, and don’t have their smiley faces on every page, don’t have the food network show, they are not as appealing to the general people. And the lack of pictures and the lack of the false promises of the speed make the general people find them intimidating. C’est la vie.

    Comment by Tafelspitz — April 6, 2006 @ 3:57 pm

  7. ‘… the personality, which seems to the Manolo to be somewhat forced, rather than natural.’

    The faux-orgasmic response to every complex carbohydrate she puts in her mouth? Not otherwise found in nature.

    Comment by danilo — April 6, 2006 @ 6:17 pm

  8. “The faux-orgasmic response to every complex carbohydrate she puts in her mouth? Not otherwise found in nature.”

    More’s the pity.

    Comment by Doug Williams — April 6, 2006 @ 6:32 pm

  9. Rachael Ray–just barely this side of bearable, indeed, but only because “30 Minute Meals” comes on right after and wipes away the tastes of the truly awful Sandra Lee, whose sailboat table decorations of folded napkins and plastic drinking straws are surely stoking the fires of Hell.

    Comment by Mr. Placeholder — April 6, 2006 @ 6:36 pm

  10. Tafelspitz–I agree with you that her recipies aren’t always easy! I would say her cookbooks are a fun supplement to a good basic cookbook, but no substitute. I wouldn’t hand any of the 30-minute meal books to a beginner cook. Absolutely, pick someone simpler first.

    Comment by brackman1066 — April 6, 2006 @ 6:53 pm

  11. In response to Joan’s query, she does, in fact, appear to be wearing a black bra and tiny, matching apron. Now as to why…

    Comment by JaneC — April 6, 2006 @ 7:03 pm

  12. Just for the record, I think it’s an altered photo. The skin tone between the face and the neck don’t match. And the position of the head is wrong too; if you look at the face separately, it looks like a normal magazine-style portrait shot, not one bent over and craning to look up at the camera.

    Granted, the perpetrator did a decent job getting the hair to blend in, but I’d put good odds that’s not actually a shot of Rachael, just her face pasted on another photo. It’s a good enough fake, though, that his royal Manoloness might have picked it up somewhere else by accident.

    Comment by Craig Steffen — April 6, 2006 @ 8:37 pm

  13. Hello to the Craig!

    This picture, it appeared in this exact form in the magazine for the lads, FHM. So, it is supposedly the real picture.

    Here is the wikipedia article about the Rachael Ray and this picture.

    Comment by Manolo the Shoeblogger — April 6, 2006 @ 8:47 pm

  14. Oh dear God in heaven…..thank goodness I didn’t take my weekly trek to Portland this week. I would have thrown up right on West Burnside had I seen Rachael browsing around the Pearl District. Portland has enough scourges without her adding to it. For Him Magazine? I guess it’s Britain’s answer to Maxim. Let ’em have Ms. Ray. Thank you, Manolo! Now I have the confirmation that the Willamette Weekly truly is a rag.

    Comment by Ronikins — April 7, 2006 @ 4:24 am

  15. Caption idea for pic:

    “Stick it in my garbage bowl!”

    Early on, Rachael Ray was not as annoying as she is now. Now, I hate her with an unquenchable hate. I hate how she talks out of the side of her mouth, over gesticulates with her hands, and screams at the camera until she’s hoarse. She actually had a nice voice before she wore it ragged. I can’t stand how she says “Delish!” “Yum-o!” and thinks it’s cute to say “E.V.O.O. = Extra Virgin Olive Oil”. What’s the point of that?! IF YOU’RE SAYING THE LETTERS AS A SHORTCUT DON’T FOLLOW IT UP WITH THE ACTUAL WORDS YOU STUPID TWIT!

    Speaking of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, she puts it and chicken stock in every damn dish she makes.

    FInally, she’s a bad tipper. She skimps on tip to stay in budget, and actually encourages it too!

    That picture makes me throw up a little every time I look at it.

    Comment by Rob D. — April 7, 2006 @ 10:56 am

  16. The Manolo, he cracks me up! I am glad you are working on figuring this out.

    I am not sure why our dear Rachael elicits such strong responses from people, but I am a fan. I have no desire to be a gourmet cook and her recipes are easy and quick enough to make after a long day at work. Plus, they usually taste pretty darn good.

    Comment by Madeline — April 7, 2006 @ 11:18 am

  17. I’m with Ronikins. Being from Portland is hard enough. We don’t need her out there making it more difficult.

    Bleh. I don’t think I’d call Trader Joe’s a superstore. Portland’s only got two million or so people, and that is counting more than just the city proper—however…it is a WEIRD place that probably does have a lot of WEIRD things.

    Ronikins, please tell me YOU don’t live in the pearl? It is so full of fakers. You have to be either super rich or super poor to live there. I can barely scrape by in this town becasue everything is SOOO expensive.

    Comment by la petite chou chou — April 7, 2006 @ 12:09 pm

  18. Every RR recipe is a variation of the 3 or 4 basic recipes she always uses. Chicken with coriander; chicken with chipotle; chicken with cinnamon or some damn thing. It goes on and on. Weird seasoning just for the sake of weird seasoning.

    Comment by Claudia — April 7, 2006 @ 2:13 pm

  19. Oh dear. I saw her on a morning show when I was travelling before St. Patricks day. She was preparing a “stoup” (something between a soup and a stew… wait, isn’t that a stew?) and “sammie” (which I can only assume means sandwich). I’m sorry, but I can’t conscience a woman who speaks to an audience old enough to operate a gas stove as if they’re three year olds. For godssakes, whatever happened to the glory of being an adult.

    Comment by jj — April 7, 2006 @ 2:44 pm

  20. good call

    Comment by la petite chou chou — April 8, 2006 @ 11:44 am

  21. I think I have an unfair advantage here. I don’t watch TV. I never find it necessary to take anything on TV serously. Nothing stands out as awful or offensive because pretty much everything on TV is dross. This means I can see a picture of a pretty girl wearing not very much while cooking and say to myself “Hmmm… that looks nice: a pretty girl wearing not very much while cooking . I wonder of there’s time for a little something before the turkey is done”. No angst here. In this case ignorance, as they say, is bliss.

    I wonder, though, if she will still be smiling after she spills the turkey juices into the oven, as she is about to do.

    Comment by Ryno — April 10, 2006 @ 3:59 pm

  22. Dear Little Cabbage Girl…..Ronikins lives in Washington County, thankfully.

    Comment by Ronikins — April 11, 2006 @ 6:34 am

  23. Alas, Ray Ray has succumbed to the pressures to fit in at the “new” Food Network.

    I saw an interview with her where she talked about how The Powers That Be (the same people who have decided that Food Network needs to be less about cooking good food and more about arranging crap a la Sandra Lee) encouraged her to up the perkiness and wild gesticulations because it appealed to the new audience they were trying to cater to.

    Yes, she still has some annoying habits, and she terribly overexposed, and not every recipe is a winner. But overall, she’s a good cook who has encouraged people to get back in the kitchen.

    Comment by Jennifer — April 12, 2006 @ 9:48 am

  24. I disagree–Rachael Ray is, among other things (such as that fake-perky personality), a mediocre cook at best, whose recipes, as she describes them (I’ve never read one of her cookbooks), have no depth, no subtlety, no panache. She manages to make even a simple dish, such as sauteed red peppers, into something that looks oily and tasteless (no garlic, for example). She proffers up no-class desserts, such as chocolate-chip ice-cream squooshed between a couple of cookies out of a box. You’re supposed to serve those to your guests? If you want good, quick, easy reciples, I suggest Mark Bitman’s “How to Cook Anything.” And–dare I say it?–Martha Stewart Living often features fast, easy recipes for dishes that look classy and taste good.

    Comment by Charlotte Allen — April 17, 2006 @ 11:41 am

  25. I, too, have a love-hate thing with La Ray-Ray, even though I do own one of her cookbooks (her first one, actually, where I get most of my pasta dishes – there’s none of that “EVOO” nonsense, though I noticed that she’s got a thing for anchovies and fennel) and I haven’t tuned into the Food Network for years.

    I do agree with the Charlotte, however, that Ray-Ray has no flair for desserts – which is why I’m not surprised that the first cookbook barely had any recipes for them, and the few dessert recipes I know that have been credited to her seem, IMO, very boring. Even the desserts that turn up on Everyday Food (both the mini-mag and the PBS show) are very sophisticated next to some of the “throw some ice cream/ syrup/ cookies on the sucker” stuff that Ray-Ray comes up with.

    Comment by meimei — April 23, 2006 @ 3:17 am

  26. Uggghhhh!!!! The way she speaks and wildly waves her hands reminds me of a crooked snake oil salesman in some old “B” western.

    Comment by Sunspot — April 25, 2006 @ 8:04 am

  27. I just noticed the horrible tipping thing by Rachael Ray (or whatever her name is) too. It in fact angered me so much that I blogged and then googled “Rachel Ray is a bad tipper.” What I hate the most is when she comes out underbudget, but she tips like 8% no matter what. As a culinary student as well as a server, I want to smack her. She’s lucky I didn’t notice her here in Charleston. I’d tell her myself that she’s setting a horrible example and that no wonder people hardly tip at all! They have Food Network’s shining example of stupid to follow.
    And I hate her cookbooks. I got some for a gift and they were neither simple nor fast. And sometimes just over the top.

    Comment by CherryBlossoms — April 26, 2006 @ 1:11 am

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