Newsweek Profiles Sandra Lee, Calls Her "The Anti-Julia"

sandra-lee-deliciousNewsweek, keyed into the Julia Child buzz, runs a pretty astounding profile of Sandra Lee, calling her "The Anti-Julia."

"She was a pioneer with the first television cooking show and I'm honored that people are saying I am a 'daughter' of Julia's," Lee says, taking it as a form of endorsement, when it really was meant more as "sign-of-the-times" statement, or worse, a thinly-veiled insult. But who said that?

Michael Pollan of course, who's recently been on some mission to talk trash about the Food Network. Following up his NYT Magazine piece from last week, in a radio interview he said, "You've got Rachael Ray and Sandra Lee—mostly women—and in a way, they're very much the children of Julia." Pollan, who's probably never watched their shows more than once (if at all), is being a casually elitist doofus who clearly can't tell the difference between the two.

Rachael Ray, when reached for comment, (with reason!) totally dismisses being put in the same category as Sandra Lee:

She told Newsweek: "Child really was the forerunner for everything that happens on the Food Network... [I get] lumped in with Sandra Lee, but whatever. I try to do more than that—and I think it's important, for example, to start relearning to cut up whole chickens."

The tone of the article is a touch derisive (how can it not be when you speak of Sandra Lee?), but genius in comparing Lee's recipe for chocolate mousse (chocolate pudding cups, whipped topping, and a splash of vanilla) and Julia Child's ("4 egg yolks, instant sugar, orange liqueur, not-quite-simmering water, more cold water, semisweet baking chocolate, strong coffee, mounds of butter, orange peel, egg white, salt and vanilla-flavored crème anglaise—an ingredient with its own recipe on page 588 of the book.")

[Newsweek]

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6 Comments

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  1. Matt

    Actually, if you listen to the interview on NPR in its entirety, Pollan was more referring to the style of their *shows* than their recipes; it was more a reference to the intimacy the host tries to establish with her audience than what she's putting in her food.

  2. Brett T

    Can I get a ruling on "instant sugar"? Was that just a typo in the Newsweek article?

  3. "instant sugar" is an old time-y term for "finely ground" sugar:
    Online versions of Child's choc mousse recipe say "Instant (finely ground) sugar."

    But it does come off as funny in the Newsweek article without the explanation.

  4. KC

    Yeah, BC Rachael is an absolutely uneducated mass marketing mess. I would not want to be lumped in a category with her either!

  5. Brett T

    Thanks, Raphael. I had a devil of a time googling it as the majority of results were about some viral video.

  6. Jojo

    Back in the old days, sugar came in loaves and you had to break it apart yourself.

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