Who Cooked It Better? Rachael Ray vs. Giada De Laurentiis

rachael-ray.jpggiada.jpgIt’s come to our attention here at ES that despite all these food blogs, there are only so many things a person can actually cook. I mean, it takes a lot of hard work to come up with an original, tasty combination of ingredients, and even when you do, chances are someone’s already thought of it before anyway. Just ask Jessica Seinfeld. So what’s a snarky food blogger to do? Why, judge others of course. On that note we introduce our newest feature: Who Cooked It Better?

Inspired by Us Weekly’s in-depth examination of celebrity costumery, Who Wore It Best? we’ll be browsing the food world each week to bring you a head-to-head match-up in which you, the readers, get to decide Who Cooked It Better?



It’s only fitting that our first culinary clash is a fishfight between the Food Network’s two sultriest chefs. Anyone can wrap a simple broiled scallop in bacon and make it taste pretty great, but not everyone can produce the beautiful succulence that is emitted by Rachael Ray and Giada De Laurentiis on a daily basis.

Pictured in the left-hand corner is the entry from our first cheftestant, the New York-born, former Macy’s candy counter clerk and aspiring queen of all media, Rachael Ray. Thankfully, RayRay resisted the urge to make an entreetizer or stoup this time and went semi-classic with her scallops, which are marinated in Teriyaki sauce, wrapped in thickly-sliced bacon and served on a tantalizing toothpick. Rachael gets creativity points for adding a slice of water chestnut and piece of pickled ginger to each scallop. Full recipe here.

In the right corner is our challenger, Rome-born, Hollywood-raised brand new baby mama Giada De Laurentiis. Giada went for a refreshing take here, blending up a tomato-basil-olive oil rub for her scallops, and kicking it up a notch by wrapping them in prosciutto. These scrumptious shellfish look pretty gushingly gourmet on their bed of fresh arugula, although perhaps a little hard to handle. Full recipe here.

So, dear readers, your thoughts please…
[Poll id=”7″]

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  • JoeHoya April 1, 2008  

    Giada’s recipe sounds better, but if I’ve learned anything recently from Top Chef, it’s that prosciutto and the oven don’t mix well. She also gets points for presentation (what doesn’t look better served atop butter lettuce leaves?), but thick-cut bacon wins every time in my book.

  • BS April 1, 2008  

    Interesting point, JH – I also have trouble with cooking prosciutto and think it’s usually better raw – although I remember something from top chef this season where one of the judges (Bourdain?) was yelling about how prosciutto has to be cooked really carefully in order to keep the taste

  • MissGinsu April 1, 2008  

    Presentation-wise? Giada. But I think I’m going to have to prefer the water chestnut angle for texture.

  • JoeHoya April 1, 2008  

    Yup – Bourdain, first episode. Heat brings out the gaminess of prosciutto. It also makes it very tough and chewy.

    Why mess with the perfect combo of salty-sweet taste and crisp-melty texture that is bacon and scallops in favor of something that could ruin the whole thing if you overcook it?

  • gansie April 1, 2008  

    i for one completely trust that giada knows how to handle meat.

  • Britannia April 1, 2008  

    My friends and I have been replicating the Top Chef quick fire challenge and I made the pizza from the first round, I made a prosciutto, ricotta and spinach bbq pizza. The prosciutto was great, placed it on the cooked pizza for about 45 seconds in the oven, really good.

    Btw, Giada’s look amazing!

  • Tim April 1, 2008  

    RayRay got suckered here with a shitty photograph. I found it impossible to vote for her, even though I think she had the better recipe. I honestly couldn’t tell if RayRay skimped on the presentation (her fault) or someone else lost glory in the photo.

  • Dorota April 1, 2008  

    Raychel Ray’s food, anything she makes, looks like DOGFOOD.

  • BS April 2, 2008  

    I agree that Rachael got screwed on the photo, but honestly, even if she had better lighting, her bacon just doesn’t look as amazing as bacon should.

  • EdHill April 2, 2008  

    The only way Rachael Ray can be considered “sultry” is if you are turned on by man hips, small breasts and crazy eyes.

    Thank god I am.

  • Yvo April 2, 2008  

    Wow, Giada won despite all the comments saying otherwise. Makes ya think, huh? People just love to hate RR.

  • Finn April 4, 2008  

    I think RR’s recipe is probably way too salty (Teriyaki sauce and bacon!). I’ve tried Giada’s recipe and it was awesome. I didn’t marinate the scallops though, but served them with a bowl of pesto and a bowl of marinara sauce for dipping.

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  • Linda Hall April 28, 2012  

    Rachel Ray’s recipe is one of the best things in this world!!!! I fix it frequently – use it in my catering business – and people’s eyes literally roll back in their head when they bite into one of these. That picture is not indicative of what they really look like. I don’t use the thick cut bacon, however, because I love for the bacon to be crispy – therefore I precook it partially before rolling them up. Had thought of proscuitto because I love it — but the recipe is excellent just the way it is. Have not tried Giada’s so I really can’t compare the two, but cannot imagine it being better. RR’S RECIPE IS THE BOMB!!!!!

  • robida May 24, 2012  

    people are running out of ideas. scallops wrapped in bacon is a classic. has this become a look at me battle or a food challenge. rachel’s may not have the appearance of giadas but it’s more like you would make at home and having made it, it’s great

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