What do you make of the celebrity chef phenomenon?

Jennifer Rubell, 36, writer, renowned hostess, hotelier, Harvard grad and member of the illustrious Rubell clan, is poised to become the country’s newest entertaining guru.  Jennifer is currently Food and Entertaining Editor of the Miami Herald’s Home & Design magazine, Former Contributing Food Editor of, the recently folded (March 2009), Condé Nast shelter magazine Domino, and her first book, Real Life Entertaining, was released in May 2006 by HarperCollins.  She writes regularly for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, and has appeared in, among others, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, W, Better Homes and Gardens, Elle, The New York Times, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Travel + Leisure, Ocean Drive and Food & Wine. In 2007, Paper Magazine named Jennifer one of its 30 most beautiful people.  

Entertaining is in Jennifer Rubell’s blood.  Her uncle, the late Studio 54 owner Steve Rubell, treated Jennifer as his own child, taking her along to parties with Halston, Calvin Klein, Liza Minelli and Bianca Jagger, and inviting her to every major event at Studio 54, starting at the age of 7.  Her parents, world-renowned contemporary art collectors Donald and Mera Rubell, became famous in the ‘80s for the Whitney Biennial after-party they hosted at their Upper East Side townhouse.  With artists like Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel and Andy Warhol roaming around the house, Mera turned out bowl after bowl of spaghetti with homemade marinara sauce, with Jennifer at her side learning the Rubell family style:  personal, unconventional and decidedly hands-on.

  • Transcript


Jennifer Rubell: I think it’s a pretty good thing that chefs are more popular, and that celebrity chefs exist sort of.  I mean the problem with celebrity in any realm, whether you’re talking about Paris Hilton, or . . . or Rachael Ray, the problem is that nobody believes that these people are real people.  And they’re not while they’re on television.  You know when somebody’s on television they have hair.  They have makeup.  They have five people helping them cook whatever they’re cooking onscreen.  It’s . . .  You’re not getting a view into an actual human being’s cooking when you’re watching somebody prepare food at home.  The best people on TV really give you information that you can use and can apply in your home kitchen.  So that’s a good thing.  It’s a bad thing if little kids are looking at what . . . what any celebrity is doing on TV and thinking that is something that can happen inside of an actual life.

Recorded on 12/13/07