Friday, August 12, 2011

Redeeming Rachael Ray

As a foodie without cable TV, I was only vaguely aware of Rachael Ray before she became embroiled in a brief scandal related to Dunkin' Donuts. I describe her inaction on my Coffee Hell page, and I remain convinced that she should have taken a stand against xenophobia in that incident.

Recently, however, I learned of a project she undertook that reflects her involvement not only with food, but also with education and to social justice. When researching the work of food educator Wilma Stephenson for our Nueva Receta blog, I found that she appeared on Rachael Ray's show, and that the appearance went far beyond a simple interview: Stephenson's beloved Room 325 was made over for the show, and a bistro was added so that students could practice serving in an elegant environment. I am not the only one to have had a change of heart -- I first learned of the RR-DD scandal from the Huffington Post, a site that now carries a glowing description of Rachael Ray's projects with Wilma Stephenson (although some user comments reflect a reasonable dose of skepticism).

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