I am an unashamed foodie. Before there was a Food Channel I used to watch Iron Chef , without subtitles , on a Japanese tV station. Once the Food Channel made it’s debut I spent many happy hours watching Iron Chef, Ming Tsai , Bobby Flay and other chefs display their culinary skills. Over the past couple of years, my addiction to the Food Channel has lessened primarily because of two people : Emeril Lagasse and Rachel Ray.
It seemed like whenever I switched the TV on , Emeril was hosting a cooking show. I never liked his shows , not even when he was a novelty. People who have eaten at his restaurants say that his food is great. Maybe so, but I never cared for his cooking show. I got fed up with his shouting “BAM” and throwing yet another handful of pepper or spice into his dishes while talking about ” kicking it up another notch”. The musicians were a hoot but it was difficult to take Emeril seriously.
Rachel Ray initially was a breath of fresh air. Perky and irreverent, contantly smiling her wide mouthed smile she exuded a sense of fun as she went about her tasks. She looked so wholesome and cute as she chopped and sliced and sauteed. But too much of a good thing is bad and I soon realized she was on the air as much as Emeril.In addition to “30 Minute meals” she was also the host of two other food-cum-travel shows. My appreciation for her culinary skills took a dive after I saw her in an episode of Iron chef. That particular episode had her partnering Iron Chef Bobby Flay in a contest against Giada De Laurentis and Iron Chef Mario Batali. I had thought that the ladies skills were almost on a par with those of the Iron Chefs but I was sadly mistaken. As the contest wore on it was evident that they were not even in the same league. I stopped watching the Food Channel and was away on vacation for all of December which gave me a respite from Rachel’s relentless cheerfulness.
When we returned in January, we found ourselves changing our exercise habits. The cold made it difficult to get up at 6:00 in the morning so we found ourselves getting up later and going to the Y at 10 AM. And that’s where I ran into Rachel again…
In the gym, there is a row of TV sets along one wall so that you can keep yourself occupied as you exercise on the treadmill. And guess what’s on at that time in the morning ? Yup. Rachel Ray’s talk show. For me, this is even harder to take than her cooking show. She’s perky and cute and wholesome and I’m sure she’s a very nice person but… can anyone be that upbeat all the time ? She’s not a very good interviewer and I wish she would not fawn quite so much on her celebrity guests. I know that her core audience consists of women and they adore her how so I will say no more… except that I wish she would use some variety in her language. She’s always talking about ‘these guys’ as in ” Let’s put these guys aside for a minute ” ” or ” Let’s sprinkle these guys with some salt and pepper”. Rachel , can’t you please call these guys by their proper names ? Call them what they are….. pork chops, broccoli, whatever. Last week was a new low. She was preparing some sort of stuffed loaf and had wrapped it in foil. ” Let’s put this baby in the oven ” she said as she did just that. Put this baby in the oven. C’mon. Rachel. Surely you can do better than that.
Already the weather is getting better and it’s easier to get out of bed in the mornings. In a couple of weeks, we’ll be going to the Y at our regular hour. When that happens it’ll be time to say ” So long, Rachel.”