Rachael Ray, the spunky “queen of quick” and Food Network celebrity signed more than a thousand books at Borders-Buckhead on a tour promoting her latest cookbook, “Rachael Ray 2, 4, 6, 8: Great Meals for Couples or Crowds.”
The meals in this cookbook are meant to be prepared within 30-minutes. “2, 4, 6, 8: Great Meals for Couples or Crowds” serves up recipes ranging from romantic meals for couples to feeding crowds of eight. A simple dessert called “Wine-Soaked Peaches with Ice Cream” sounds absolutely (and in the words of Rachael Ray) Yum-O! Need an idea for poker night? Try Ray’s “Texas Hold-Ums with Fire-Roasted Ketchup,” these little chipotle beef burgers will put some real kick into the night.
According to a Borders-Buckhead spokeswoman, due to Ray’s popularity and having to turn away 1,500 people last year, the store was anticipating an extremely large turnout. Because of this, only 300 wristbands allowing admission to the event were distributed beginning at noon with the book signing beginning at 4:00 p.m. Wristbands were allocated per family and up to 10 books per wristband were permitted. Ray personalized copies of “Rachael Ray 2, 4, 6, 8: Great Meals for Couples or Crowds” while signing her latest magazine, Every Day, and her other cookbooks published by Clarkson Potter.
A handful of die-hard Rachael Ray fans arrived at Borders just before 7:00 a.m., two hours prior to the store opening. What time did I arrive? 9:15 a.m. and spent the morning talking with excited Rachael Ray fans and catching up on my reading. Fans talked about her as though she was a good friend. “She’s such a dweeb, I love her!” One young man from Ashville, NC exclaimed.
The 7:00 a.m. crowd and I were in the first book signing session and lined up at 3:15 p.m. 4:00 p.m. came and Borders announced Rachael Ray was not on site yet. At 4:15 p.m., another announcement was made stating she was in the store conducting an interview. At 4:30, the petite and perky Rachael Ray emerged from behind a bookcase wearing a black and white print flowing blouse with black slacks, cowboy-esque dark boots and sporting a darker than usual hair color. She immediately requested someone from Borders assist with [opening] the books and with her signature broad smile, began signing books.
Ray took time to chit-chat, wished a young girl “happy birthday” and the rest of us “happy holidays.” One young woman gave her a gift of chef Christmas ornaments and Ray took time to pose for a photo with her. When I asked how she was enjoying Atlanta, she replied, “Well, just got here, but so far, it’s been great.”
Rachael Ray is the host of her syndicated talk show, “Rachael Ray,” as well as host of the Food Network’s “30 Minute Meals,” “$40 a Day,” “Inside Dish” and “Rachael Ray’s Tasty Travels.”
Rachael Ray’s book tour continues through December 20, 2006, stopping in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Pa. and finishes in Boston, Mass. For the listing of tour dates and guidelines, visit www.rachaelray.com.