If Rachael Ray Talks Ambience, She Didn't Like the Food

Just One of the Ways She's Keeping It Real

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PHOENIX ( -- Rachael Ray may host umpteen food shows in heavy rotation and edit an eponymous magazine with skyrocketing circulation, but she told the crowd at the American Magazine Conference here that she doesn't consider herself a media mogul.

"I don't feel very mogul-y," she said in her characteristic casual way. "That sounds like Jabba the Hut."

Despite her success, she said she has no trouble keeping relating to regular Americans' lives and interests, even when she's being served by waiters at high-class restaurants. "As soon as my back's turned, they roll their eyes," she said.

Coping with sudden fame
Speaking during a conversation with Jess Cagle, editor-at-large at People magazine, Ms. Ray described her insanely busy work schedule (she's at least taking Christmas Day off), making notes like "Woo-hoo!" on draft pages of Every Day With Rachael Ray, and coping with her fairly sudden fame. Indeed, even though she was only here for the opening day, she made quite an impression on attendees, garnering several mentions during other presentations as the conference went on.

She said she laughed when she saw a recent tabloid headline that screamed, "Rachael Ray's Heartache: She's Barren."

"It's flattering that anyone wants to write about me," she said.

And in a tip for viewers of any show in which she visits restaurants and enthuses about them, she said she'll only compliment the food if she means it. If she just talks about the ambience or portion size, then the food wasn't that great. She did tell the crowd, however, that she is thinking about a hamburger restaurant she can call her own. Presumably, that one will serve food she likes.

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