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Rachael Ray finally opens restaurant—with no physical location

The Takeout logo The Takeout 10/17/2019 Kate Bernot
Rachael Ray holding a plate of food © Photo: Dave Kotinsky (Getty Images), Uber Eats

Rachael Ray is the anomaly among TV celebrity chefs in that she’s never opened a restaurant. Fans have asked for it, but Ray says it’s just never been in the cards. Starting today, though, you can eat food designed by Rachael Ray… just not in an actual restaurant.

Ray’s announced a “virtual restaurant” serving dishes from her new cookbook, Rachael Ray 50, available for delivery only via Uber Eats in 13 cities through December. It’s an interesting little move, giving fans a tangible connection to Ray but minus the overhead cost and logistics of opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Kind of genius, if you ask us. The menu included in a press release is all over the place: Tahini Caesar Salad with Za’atar Croutons ($7.95), Big S’Mac Cheeseburger ($9.95), Fettuccine alla Vodka ($12.95), Dozen-Spiced Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Honey ($13.95), and more.

Customers in the participating cities—New York City; L.A.; Baltimore; Austin; Dallas; Houston; Minneapolis; Portland; Seattle; Miami; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Toronto—can find the full menu by opening the Uber Eats app, which should display a Rachael Ray banner.

This is just further evidence of delivery’s growing dominance. While rent costs in major cities rise and restaurant staffing becomes more challenging, ghost kitchens and delivery-only restaurants are more than happy to ditch the traditional, physical dining room. The appeal for customers? This is for now the closest you’ll get to eating in a Rachel Ray restaurant, and you can fib a bit and say you had Rachael Ray at your place for dinner.

Related video: Taco Bell Salt [provided by Lifehacker]

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