Celeb chefs are huge opinion makers, and it’s not uncommon for them to spin that image to their advantage by releasing cookbooks or endorsing products. But critics are wondering when they should draw the line. For example, Anthony Bourdain was disgusted by Rachael Ray’s decision to plug Dunkin Donuts, a product not really known for its refined flavor (more of refined sugar).
“She’s got a magazine, a TV empire, all these best-selling books — I’m guessing she’s not hurting for money,” said the Kitchen Confidential chef. “She’s hugely influential, particularly with children. And she’s endorsing Dunkin’ Donuts. It’s like endorsing crack for kids.”
The endorsement comes amid reports of increased juvenile diabetes, and in some people’s opinion, runs counter to TV chefs’ efforts to teach families to cook delicious, nutritious meals. Jamie Oliver, after all, actually went school cafeterias to think of non-greasy alternatives to the average school lunch.
Before Food Network, before celebrity chefs were even a million-dollar brand, there was Julia Child. She was the food guru, and many a housewife made her cookbook their kitchen bible. (To the gratitude of their well-fed husbands.)
Now, her life will be made into a movie, starring no less than Meryl Streep. It will be directed by Nora Ephron, and will be based on Julie Powell’s book, Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen.
Julie was a fan who made it her mission to try every single recipe Child ever made, but the renowned chef would have nothing to do with her and never returned her calls. “I’m just not interested,” she said in one of her final interviews.
Maybe having Oscar-winner Meryl Streep portray her will make her feel a little better.
Hide the kitchen knives — celebrity chefs Jessica Seinfeld and Missy Chase Lapine have gone into a war.
Lapine started it, calling Seinfeld a plagiarist for copying recipes. Seinfeld’s book, Deceptively Delicious has been hitting bestseller lists for its creative ways of incorporating healthy ingredients into kids’ favorite meals. It’s the same concept behind Lapine’s own new release, Sneaky Chefs.
Seinfeld’s husband, comedian Jerry Seinfeld, lashed back, calling her “wacko.” “Now she’s accusng my wife of a Watergate-style break-in at Harper Collins [the publisher].”