Rachael Ray brings ‘30 Minute Meals’ back to Food Net­work

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Reality Tv / What's Cooking -

Rachael Ray cer­tainly has achieved a lot since, but “30 Minute Meals” largely is where it all be­gan for her.

As her epony­mous, syn­di­cated week­day show (for which she’s a cur­rent Day­time Emmy nom­i­nee) heads to­ward its 14th sea­son, the pop­u­lar food-and-life­style per­son­al­ity launches a new ver­sion of her iconic Food Net­work cook­ing se­ries Mon­day, April 1. As it starts with 30 new episodes over the first 30 days, a dig­i­tal com­po­nent will show on­line view­ers ex­tra ma­te­rial masked on tele­vi­sion by com­mer­cial breaks.

“Can you be­lieve it? We’re rollin’ old-school!,” Ray en­thuses of the “30 Minute Meals” re­vival. “If you have the Food Net­work app, on April 1, they’ll put up five (of the new episodes) – so you can binge it. Then they’ll dou­ble-air an episode ev­ery day for the en­tire month of April.”

Ray main­tains it was “so fun” to get back to the premise of pre­par­ing a meal in a half-hour: “This time, in­stead of shoot­ing one act at a time and then stop­ping the cam­eras and re­hears­ing the next act, we just kept rolling. If you watch on­line, you’ll see ev­ery­thing in real time. It’s like on ‘Satur­day Night Live,’ when you see what hap­pens be­hind the scenes.”

“It’s fun to cook for a to­tally new gen­er­a­tion, too,” notes Ray. “I’m do­ing skil­let pan pizza and Korean fried chicken and things that are trendy right now. We’re just re­ally hav­ing fun with it, rein­vent­ing what you can do in 30 min­utes but for mil­len­ni­als on up. It’s food I would never have been able to roll with 20 years ago, be­cause you just couldn’t get the prod­ucts.”

More­over, Ray adds there wasn’t “the di­ver­sity in di­ets that we (have) to­day. Some episodes are vege­tar­ian, so it’s not just tra­di­tional, main­stream Amer­i­cana food. Peo­ple eat with all types of dis­ci­plines now, so there’s more di­ver­sity in ’30 Minute Meals.’ That’s why we wanted to take over this beau­ti­ful build­ing out in Brook­lyn that has a bit of an in­dus­trial vibe, so that it would have a dif­fer­ent look and a dif­fer­ent feel.”

About to launch the shop­ping site Moxie Made (in­spired by a pop-up shop she es­tab­lished at the an­nual South by South­west event) plus a hand­bag line, Glens Falls, N.Y., na­tive Ray al­ways is gen­er­ous about oth­ers en­ter­ing the day­time-talk arena. She says she’s look­ing for­ward to Kelly Clark­son and Tam­ron Hall’s new shows this fall.

“I think it’s won­der­ful,” Ray states. “I’m a huge fan of both. I think Tam­ron is so clever, and I adore Kelly Clark­son! The first time she came to my show, we just gig­gled like school­child­ren. She is so much fun to talk to ... and so in­sanely, wildly tal­ented, it’s dis­gust­ing. In a good way.”

Rachael Ray

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