Ina Garten vs Rachel Ray

the data doesn’t support that, however – home cooking is on the increase, and most articles discussing the trend attribute it to cooking shows.

I can’t stand Rachel Ray’s persona on her cooking show (I actually like her talk show…) – but I give her full props for showing people that you can put real food on the table without a lot of time, money, or effort.


I think at one time cooking shows on tv may have had an impact, but if the state of food network today is any indication, their target audience is not currently people who want to learn how to balance cooking skills with demands of life. (The current afternoon and prime time schedule is devoid of any cooking shows.)

You’re right about Rachel Ray, her show was one of the few that did a good job of showing how important preparation is and how important a routine is. I also liked that she took shortcuts sometimes. Not all shortcuts equal a Kwanzaa cake and not all people who are interested in good food have time to cook everything from scratch. I actually do miss 30 minute meals, and I’m sad it’s not in production anymore.

I know many people who like to cook, but are intimidated by putting together a regular system for getting meals to the table. I’m one of them because when I had plenty of free time on my hands and was working a flexible schedule, it was easy to play around in the kitchen. When I got a full time job with a long commute I floundered around for a while trying to figure out how to balance things. But I did learn how to balance everything, so now I try to be a positive voice for those who think they can’t.


For me, Ina Garten did all that you say of Rachel Ray here. I know she’s a lovely person, but RR irritates me and her food looks disgusting whenever I accdidentally tune in while she’s serving it up.

Ina makes really good food beautiful and simplifies with short cuts that don’t harm the outcome.


If given a choice I would choose Ina hands down over Rachel Ray! I’m from a pretty working class part of the midwest, and Ina kinda has a bit of a reputation as being one of those “uppity big city types”. I mean foodies in the midwest love her just fine, but if I was recommending a learn to cook TV show to one of my midwestern friends, they tend to relate better to Rachel Ray. The librarian in me just considers it a part of helping every reader find their book. :slight_smile:


and Ina makes my teeth itch. I turn both of them off, as I don’t like either of them enough to sit through on eof their shows, but Rachel annoys me – Ina absolutely rubs me the wrong way.

I get that, I wasn’t disputing that she might demystify cooking for a certain segment of the population, just sharing who has made a big difference in my own repertoire and confidence as a cook. Ina is certainly living a privileged life, but she’s as far from uppity as rich folks get. Low fuss, not show offy and overdone.

i’m just so jealous of all her gay husbands; I need me some!

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I’m jealous of her big Hamptons party barn/kitchen. That’s my favorite celebrity kitchen, hands down!


Damn, I was hoping this was an announcement for a new wrestling competition on the Food Network!

I’ve always kind of liked Ina and her cooking. And I find her lifestyle, friends, and faked social situations amusing. Rachel Ray not so much. It isn’t so much what she cooks that I don’t like, it’s her persona. Like fingernails on a chalkboard.

I just went down a rabbit hole by googling “teeth itch” wondering if Sunshine’s expression was a common one. OMG, people’s teeth actually itch! The Internet can be a frightening place.


Interestingly, the Food Network UK shows Ina Garten shows but none of Ray’s. As an American living in England, I find that a bit telling. We also get the Diners and Drive In show. I drool.

In this case, though, it just means she drives me up in a nearly-creepy way.

I react to RR like I do to scratching on a chalk board. My hair stands on end. I like Ina. Her recipes work and she makes cooking accessible to the average person. She measures too much for me though!!

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RayRay is grating and her food mostly meh, but she makes putting a simple home made meal on the table seem possible. Ina is selling a bit more of a fantasy lifestyle, you too can entertain like you beach in the hamptons, eat like the 1% every day. Her recipes have a bit more panache. I think both have good production teams and recipies are well tested. I would break bread with either of them before i would dine at Pioneer Woman’s ranch.


Check out her early episodes – she never measured. I’m sure someone came along and “suggested” she be more precise.

She does write recipes so that could be why

Justlauralibrarian, I tend to agree with what you’ve said about RR.

I’ve only made one RR recipe from her 30 Minute Meals and that was for giambotta, that I modified from the start, adding more of what I like, less or none of what I didn’t and adding in some things not included in her recipe. I have to say, it’s probably become on of my favorite soups. Quick and easy to put together.

Ina, on the hand, clearly has a very different style of cooking, spares no expense and doesn’t seem to suffer from time constraints.

That said, I’ve picked up some good info from both shows, but will watch with sound off and Closed Captioning on. RR is far to perky and Ina a little too pretentious at times for me - I often wonder what will happen if I don’t use “good” ingredients. Will the sky fall? Seriously, who approaches making a meal with “bad” ingredients? Will the food police come and slap my hand and take away my bottle of McCormack vanilla and throw me in jail for not using Neilsen Massey? I think people will always use whatever they like, are most comfortable with or can afford. RR seems to be upfront about substituting ingredients, variations, cost etc. Ina makes it seem as tho there are no compromises, even tho I don’t believe that to be true.

Each has their own place and following in the world of cooking and variety is the spice of life.

I do wish Food Network would get back to cooking shows and techniques and get rid of all the game show stuff that I never will watch.

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I miss the cooking shows so much! I grew up watching boring PBS cooking shows, but I’m pretty sure those boring shows are what got me interested in cooking. (My family cooks, but it’s not an obsession like it is with me) I just checked out the food network schedule and the cooking shows have all been relegated to the AM slots selling a new fantasy: The SAHM who can do it all. Seriously, Pioneer Woman has to have a nanny, right? I know SAHM’s and they do not always have the time to cook everything from scratch.

ain’t THAT the truth…

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Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, Yuanyang County, Yunnan
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