Best Eats in Town on $40 a Day
Rachel Ray
251 pages; Softcover, Color Photography
Lake Isle Press, NY, NY, 2004
Reviewed by, Nicki Hobson, Spring 2005

Normally I would trust a cookbook, and its title. Especially one's offering great food for an affordable price. Unfortunately, I am worried that I can no longer feel this way about cookbooks written by food network celebrities. In Rachel Ray's Best Eats in Town on $40 a Day she travels all over the US, and parts of Europe to give readers a taste of authentic dishes from each region. Though Rachel does give a few good recipes, more than half the book is stories about her, and advertisement for the restaurants she visited. Which, I'm sorry to say, does not entice me in the slightest.

If I were to buy a cookbook, it would be for the recipes and not the story of the author's life. I could care less what movies Rachel Ray watched on her vacation in Park City. I would also rather be looking at pictures of a beautifully presented plate of food than Rachel Ray skiing in Aspen. Aside from the miniscule amount of cuisine in this cookbook, the recipes that are offered do not even have the correct quantity of each ingredient. If it does, then I must eat a lot. I tested the Linguini Puttanesca and had to triple the recipe that was supposed to serve four, to feed three people. I also allowed the dish a few modifications, but all in all it was a pretty good meal.

Like Rachel's book, this review does not speak much about food. It's frustrating, isn't it? Well that's how I felt when I read Best Eats in Town on $40 a Day. If you enjoy Rachel Ray by all means, please pick it up. If you have never heard of her, or just want a good recipe I would advice you to look else where.