Raichilson-Zadok has a lot of respect for Ramsay and said she’s “blessed” to have had the opportunity to work with him. And though “Hell’s Kitchen” has opened doors for her professionally, she doesn’t watch it anymore.
As for why that’s the case, she said, “You may love a restaurant and go there every day, but you go and work there, and you may never eat there again.”
Raichilson-Zadok said the original Japanese “Iron Chef” is her favorite food show ever, but she’s also a big fan of “Top Chef,” a Night & Day favorite. Part of the appeal, she says, is that “Top Chef” doesn’t talk down to the audience and the reality show drama is limited.
“I think ‘Top Chef’ in general, you can truly see the knowledge that the contestants have,” Raichilson-Zadok said. “They’re allowed to demonstrate that knowledge. ‘Top Chef’ is a true culinary competition. There’s no panel of your peers. That’s the bottom line.”
As for Ramsay, he’s part of a growing wave of “celebrity chefs,” an expected eventual byproduct of food television’s popularity and presence. Some of the contestants from cooking competitions have become minor celebrities in their own right, but some of the most famous “food personalities” out there include the likes of Paula Deen and Rachael Ray, for better or worse.
Ray has the “gift of gab,” according to Raichilson-Zadok. But “should she be on the same level of Wolfgang Puck? I don’t really think so.”
But the celebrity chef craze is, for the most part, deserved, she says.
“I think that it is an art ... it’s something that everybody does,” she says. “Everybody cooks. Whether it’s toast and ramen noodles or a five-course meal.”