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