Cat Fight: Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart & Paula Deen, Y'all!

There’s no doubt about it --women are very competitive creatures, especially among themselves, however when it comes to show business, or perhaps just cooking in general, we seem to get thee ol’ bitter bug inside us saying things such as: “We’re the best cooks", “Oh she doesn’t know how to make that right", or “Mediocre cooks don’t know how to bake.” While most comments are based on mere opinions, sadly some of these statements are factual, (of course in my very own opinion). It's been reported that Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart and Paula Deen are in a bitter battle to see who can dominate the ratings for their cooking shows. Although I admire each one of these marvelous cooks, I honestly have to ask one question to myself: whose dinner invite would I accept?

Let’s take Rachael Ray for one. Not only is she in a rush to prepare a 30 minute cook off with herself, but her meals are simple, easy, quick and most of the time, loaded with sodium due to her “quick ingredients”. The type of audience who probably enjoy watching Rachael Ray are either lesbians or straight men. She’s cute and sexy --let’s give her props, but her type of meals are meant for college students and a bunch of working women who have no time to prepare a decent meal. I think she's talented for her quickness, but her style is more, Tex-Mex, toddler daycare fun type of food. I'll even say her cooking is awesome if you're holding a Super Bowl party. Other than that, and perhaps gawking at her while she cooks, in my opinion with all honesty --I’d need a few shots of Pepto and call it a night. I’ll pass.

Let’s take Martha Stewart. Oh how I. just. love. her. For one, she’s just brilliant. She can do everything from making her own Halloween decorations and cooking to knitting quilts with the big dawgs up in the slammer. This woman has it all. You rarely get to see a woman of her caliber. And while she may be commercialized to be the ultimate "housewife" and a bit more “mommy-like”----she is quite attractive, both in looks and intelligence. It’s great fun watching at what she does best: cooking. Hey, if she was willing to have Rosie Perez shake up some mean mojitos in her cucina, she has already won my heart. I’ll accept the invite, thank you very much.

Let’s take Paula Deen. Granted the woman needs to wean off the good ol’ “hey y’all”, but for some reason, it works for her. Okay, let's not 'sugarcoat' it --her cooking is the most fattening stuff on earth, but it’s that good ol’ southern comfort food that most people from the south grew up on. These days, people are more health conscious, but they're also not dead to the taste of food. We all want good tasting food. In moderation, these foods are just fine. Martha Stewart commented, “It’s just fat-laden comfort food with no aspiration toward art in the kitchen.” No aspiration or art? Are you kidding? The entire process of everything she makes is a masterpiece in itself. Her baking alone are the works of a chemist. This lady has mastered the art of keeping her family together by means of food. This is the ultimate “soul food”. I’ll gladly accept her dinner invite, with stretch pants in hand.

Why are these women are in competition with one another? They are all so different in their cooking styles and personas, that you really can’t choose one from another ---unless you have a certain taste for a certain kind of food. Most people like that “good food”---the soul food, which is why Paula Deen has higher ratings. We all want to be healthy and feel good about ourselves, but we all look forward to those fun cheat days; those rare Sundays where we claim all food to be fat-free. I remember while growing up when my grandmother from Brooklyn would come over and take over the kitchen. She would use fatback as her cooking base for all sauces and the start of a sauté. It was the base of all foods. In fact, she would hand us fried manteca (rendered pork skin fat). Talk about clogging your arteries. Most of my family lived into their 90’s with no serious health problems. My uncle passed away at the age of 30 years old. He was a runner and never ate meat or anything that was fattening. I found it ironic, because he was supposed to outlive all of us due to his excellent dietary habits.

But if you really take a look at what people are eating today as opposed to the natural ingredients that were used for cooking back then, there is more heart disease than ever before due to fast food joints and “quick meal plans”. In European countries, especially France, they all eat in moderation. Everyone wants to believe that the French paradox (drinking red wine with your food) is the big secret of skinning the fat off your meals and clearing your arteries from any of the 'bad stuff'. It’s not true. If you observe them eating, all of their portions are less than half of what we put on our plates. In Weight Watchers, they tell you to eat 3 oz of chicken or any meat for that matter. This is exactly why people lose weight with them, same holds true for the great French paradox. Less food, less cholesterol. I'll still grab that glass of wine regardless.

So when Martha busts Paula’s ‘chops’ so to speak, she should also note that anything in huge quantities will also make a person “fat-laden” in the hip area. In my opinion? All three of these women should get into the kitchen together and work as a team. Just have Rachael throw the ingredients to Martha & Paula ---I want a meal that's been cooked for more than 30 minutes y'all.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!