A few days ago I listened to a “Best of” broadcast of the Laura Ingraham Show. Laura, one of the most underrated talk show hosts in America, was talking about the phenomena that is the celebrity chef. Names like Emeril Lagasse and Rachael Ray came up. Laura then took some calls from two men who identified themselves as professional, certified chefs. Their thoughts surprised me. The following represent the chefs’ thoughts, not mine:
Justin Wilson, the famous celebrity Cajun chef whose catch phrase “I gar-on-tee” made him a cultural icon, once showed up at a chefs’ conference and cut his speech short; apparently he had been drinking;
Rachael Ray is a great cook, but her “30-minute meals” take an hour or an hour and a half to do; they can’t be done in half an hour. The chef speculated that Rachael had people behind the scenes to do additional tasks to get things done on time.
Emeril will sometimes put a dirty towel over his shoulder, something a real chef would never do. The chef also told Laura about how a colleague had chosen Emeril had been chosen to oversee a gourmet banquet and that the chef had asked his colleague: “Why did you pick Emeril? The guy can’t cook!”
I don’t have an opinion, good or bad, regarding these three. I think Ray’s show is fun to watch, and while Emeril is fun to watch, I prefer watching The Iron Chef (the Japanese version).