Food and Wine Events
Washington D.C. International Wine and Food Festival

Distinguished Speakers Series hosts Rachael Ray & Bobby Flay

On June 19th at 8 PM, Bobby Flay and Rachael Ray will be speaking at an event hosted by the American Society of Association Executives and the Center for Association Leadership.The event, at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, is part of the Nation's Capital Distinguished Speakers Series and will involve a night of discussion about Rachael and Bobby's rise to in the ranks of celebrity chefdom and their views on food and our society. The program will be followed by a question and answer session with the audience.


I was thinking the other night about what I might ask both Bobby and Rachel. Some potential questions for Bobby Flay:

Can you introduce me to David Cassidy? (sorry, I couldn't help myself)

Charcoal, propane, or smoke?

So, exactly how many Food Network shows are you on now?

Are you sick of people asking you about the time you stood on the cutting board on Iron Chef?

Potential questions for Rachael Ray:

What does it feel like to own the Food Network?

On how many episodes of $40 a day have you been stranded because you ran out of money?

Do you ever want to punch Sandra Lee? If so please describe your perfect table-scape.

But all joking aside, this sounds like it will be a fun and educational event. It's not everyday that we get to pick the brains of successful chefs like Bobby Flay and Rachael Ray. As food television veterans, they can provide us insight on where they think the future of the food entertainment industry, the role food plays in our culture, families and social relationships, and perhaps some secrets on making that perfect risotto. 

To purchase tickets got to, or call 202-326-9530.



Does it bother anyone else that on that $40 a Day show Rachel Ray ALWAYS screws wait staff over on tips? She routinely tips 10% or less just to keep things under $40. Not cool.


I saw a $40 a day the other day while she was in Dallas. I could not believe that she went to La Madeleine for breakfast! I mean, does no one do research beforehand? Does she not know its a chain? Why not just go to McDonalds and get a cheap breakfast?


I try really hard to avoid chain restaurants when traveling, but we don't have La Madeleine here in Northern California, so if I went to Dallas, does that really count as going to a chain? It's not like it's somewhere I could eat at home.


I watched one episode where she used coupons from the Entertainment book for every meal - free appetizer, etc. The book itself costs $25 to $45 depending on the city, but of course she didn't include it in her $40. You know - because we all have free Entertainment books hanging around for every city we visit...


Why are you pimping this lame-o event?

These are media whores who have absolutely nothing to say and yet they're charging a ton of money to attend this shill-fest.

I would say The Kennedy Center should be ashamed of itself, but that would be saying it had some integrity to begin with. Arts for the people, is what they said forty years ago in hitting up folks to raise money in JFK's honor. Yeah, right.


Are you off your soapbox yet?


averyjay, the Kennedy Center has little to do with this I believe. To the best of my knowledge it's a case of a group renting out the Kennedy Center and bringing in speakers.


I just needed to point out that *I* have felt the need to punch Sandra Lee, and the my perfect tablescape is for a picnic outside complete with a chandelier made from Sandra Lee. Then again I'm not particularly fond of Bobby or Rachel either (although I think RR may be fun to go out drinking with...). Just give me Alton...

hey now

I can't imagine anyone paying to ask the ass hat rectal raytard about anything.


I agree Rachael Ray has sent the food industry down the tubes. Mr. Flay is much more experienced than her. The unfortunate side of it is that Ray will probably recieve much more attention.




You guys can be haters all you want, but consider this. For all the people out there like you that think she is horrible, there is a midwestern housewife who now knows that she's supposed to season her meat before cooking it.


My question to Rachel would be "you've never been a waitress, have you?" Couldn't agree more with the first comment about her crappy ass tipping on $40 a Day - it pisses me off to no end that she is promoting bad tipping on a network based on FOOD.


I thought it was just me.

I can't stand Sandra Lee and I can't explain why. I love Rachael Ray - she doesn't bother me at all, but Sandra Lee? Bugs the shit out of me.

It has taken me a while, but I finally like the adorable chick from Everyday Italian (if I try to spell it, I will screw it up). I can't figure out why they sensualize that show, though. Really odd.


I think the fakeness of Rachael Ray's laugh is only matched by the fakeness of Giada DeLaurentiis's smile.


Well Jason, you've firmly grasped the third rail of foodies! You're a brave, brave man.
RR worked as a waitress and has been in the industry all her life. Her tipping is based on getting by on 40 dollars a day, but hey, the wait staff get to be on tv and maybe that's a bonus for them. Who knows.
She's wildly successful and is living the American dream. Good for her ( and good for Bobby Flay as well).
Now as far as offensive...don't get me started on Rocco "the pig" Di Spritto. Ugh!


Personally, I've nothing against Rachael. Here audience isn't people who use ramps in their soups or pick over mushrooms at the local farmers market, but many a foodie (including myself) have her cookbooks and began their journeys as foodies with her.

Melissa F.

Jason, I kept waiting to hear you ask a question last night. Were you able to attend? I thought Rachael was fabulous even though Bobby wasn't able to make it. She did address the whole tipping questions for all of you Rachael haters...she does tip them more and now they're going to call the show Tastey Travels. I was so glad you posted about this and I had a great evening!! Thanks for keeping us devoted foodies up to date!


You should have asked them for me! I was trying to keep a low profile. ;)

Rob Campos

Is Laura serious? Let's clear it up this way honey...if I went to a Carl's Jr, would that be visiting a chain? They don't have them in Maryland.


Wow! I am surprised at all the negative comments. I am a mother of 3 in CA that grew up with a career oriented mom. Teaching her daughter to cook was not in the plan, but I can change a tire. Needless to say winging it in the kitchen does not come easy to me. Any chef/cook that can make things quicker/easier in any way is always appreciated. I take bits a pieces from them all and not always finding them to be my favorite but if my family likes the dish that is all that matters.

jin choung

the thing about tipping and staying on a budget - if she is not tipping "properly", then can it really be said that she can actually AFFORD TO EAT somewhere? and the issue i think is not whether she actually ends up tipping people "under the table" off-camera (i'm sure she does)... but that she is promoting under-tipping through her show. and the fact that she always combines "tax and tip" to obscure the actual amount of stinginess is a bit of a cheat too. i've never done food service but i have been confused at what the standards for tipping are and she's really not helping. for someone who says that she does come from the service industry, it's actually kinda surprising that the issue of tipping is so marginalized.

MK McDonald

"Tipping" Is Not a Town in China!

As a restaurant manager, I completely understand why my staff will run into the kitchen screaming the "F-word" and other expletives when people like Rachael Ray come into the restaurant.

My service staffs works for a meager $3.90 an hour plus tips, and are truly passionate about taking care of their guests, yet still depend upon those tips as their major source of income to pay their bills.

They are also financially obligated to tip out support staff a certain percentage of their sales. When someone like Ms. Ray comes in, run their asses ragged for every little whim, and then leaves a 10% tip, it actually costs them money to wait on them.

Screw celebrity status! My staff would run for the woods screaming and have to draw straws in order to decide who would wait on her. Wisdom tooth extraction versus waiting on Rachael Ray would be preferable.

It also concerns me that Ms. Ray is sending the wrong message to the general public that 10 percent is an accepatable tip for great service.

Ms. Ray needs to understand that "TIPPING" is NOT a town in China. The standard is 15 percent for good service; 20 percent (or higher) for amazing service.

If she wants to make it on $40 a day---she needs to run to McDonald's or another quick service joint.

Bottom line: A 10 percent tip is completely inappropriate in a full service restaurant; If you can't afford to tip, don't bother eating out at a full service restaurant.


"TIPPING" is NOT a town in China...but it is in Indonesia!

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