It does not surprise me that people who cook well become popular. What shocks me is that many of these people remain famous even after revealing their less savory personalities and sometimes substandard skills. Here are five celebrity chefs I hope take their "talents" to another planet.
5. Rachael Ray. I know, I know. It's so easy to hate on Rachael Ray....so I will! I find her unnecessary acronyms (EVOO) nauseating, I'm sick of hearing about how her husband just LOVES her spaghetti carbonara, and I think most of her dishes taste eerily alike. The only thing more ill-conceived than her bland thirty-minute meals is her talkshow.
4. Sandra Lee. I appreciate the idea of "semi-homemade" cuisine in theory as most of us have neither the time nor the skills to mill our own wheat or churn our own butter. Sandra, however, takes this admirable concept to the extreme all too often (e.g. the notorious Kwanzaa cake and this bizarro twice-cooked chicken soup). Her hodge-podge, minimal effort recipes only encourage the lazy ass in all of us and the consumption of processed food. It's the last thing Americans need.
3. Bethenny Frankel. How does creating a "skinny" (re: non-intoxicating and non-refreshing) margarita suddenly give one credence as a chef? In addition to encouraging eating disorders with her "taste everything, eat nothing" mantra, Frankel has also gifted the world with a line of high-fiber, low calorie, and, as far as I can taste, flavor-free line of baked goods that rival laxatives in ability to cramp your stomach and cleanse your colon.
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2. Guy Fieri. My beef with Fieri is probably actually with his hairdresser, who I will assume is under some mind-altering drug each time he willingly refrosts Guy's spiky locks. And while I have no objections to a rotund chef (I heart you, Mario Batelli), there is something about Fieri's red bloated face that makes me completely lose my appetite, especially when he's chowing down with his mouth open on some overly greasy diner sandwich.
1. Bobby Flay. "Throwdown with Bobby Flay" involves some of the most obnoxious confrontations on television (and, yes, I've seen the Real Housewives and Crossfire). Why am I supposed to cheer for a man who dupes unsuspecting (and often elderly and/or adorable) low-profile chefs into thinking they are the subject of a Food Network special only to ambush them in front of their family and friends and challenge to a cook-off involving their most famous dish? Flay may confine himself to grilling and southwestern cuisine, but his ego knows no bounds.