Rax King

Instructor & Writer
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Rax King is a James Beard Award-nominated bitch. Her work can also be found in Glamour, MEL Magazine, Catapult, and elsewhere. Look out for her monthly column Store-Bought Is Fine for hot takes about the Food Network, and her essay collection Tacky (Vintage 2021).


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Cover Photo: A photo of Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner leaning in close and looking at the camera. They are both smiling, but Carl's smile is one famously used for one of their comedy bits.
Jewish Comedy as a Love Language

It’s hard to say what about it is more charming to me, the hilarity of it or the inescapable Jewishness of it. Mel Brooks could be any man in my family.

Dec 15, 2020
Cover Photo: A screencap from Worst Cooks in America, in which a contestant is in an apron, holding a knife, trying desperately to scoop something out of a sliced red pepper.
In Defense of the Worst Cooks in America

The soundstage’s kitchen didn’t have a dishwasher, so he was forced to make dishwasher salmon in the oven instead—like some kind of hack.

Sep 22, 2020
Cover Photo: A photo of an old-fashioned bar. On a green awning over the bar, the words "DAVY JONES BAR" are spelled in gold letters across a green background. A sword, barrel, and tiny skeletons decorate its corners. Vintage tankards hang where glasses would be. A single man sits on a stool in front of it.
To All the Pirate Bars Ayye’ve Loved Before

Visiting a beloved bar is less about the bar itself and more an attempt to re-inhabit happy memories, to open a door that leads to them.

Jul 08, 2020
Cover Photo: A photo of Alton Brown on the set of Good Eats, holding a tiny avocado gently, like an egg or baby, looking at it pensively through his '90s glasses. (The avocado is small, but perhaps the size of his head in direct comparison creates an optical illusion?)
Alton Brown Made Cooking More Approachable, One Prop at a Time

It was a corny, educational joy, as if Bill Nye and Monty Python had teamed up to teach America how to cook.

Apr 20, 2020
Cover Photo: A screencap of Barefoot Contessa, in which Ina Garten, smiling as if the viewer is the only person in the world, holds up a plate of chicken wraps in offering.
How Easy Is That?: Chasing Ina Garten’s Perfection With My Mother

On other cooking shows, the cooks might make mistakes and laugh about them. Ina Garten has never made a mistake.

Feb 25, 2020
Cover Photo: photograph of cheese pizza
Why I Love Terrible Kosher Pizza, and Other Mysteries of My Jewish Life

I am no gentile, but a Jew, with chill Jewish parents, who loves the pepper-and-onion slice at Alfie’s.

Feb 05, 2020
Cover Photo: A photo of a woman's well-manicured hands kneading a piece of bread dough on a counter.
The Pioneer Woman and the Fairy Tale of Country Cooking

What does the word “country” mean? Does it mean anything on its own or does it just color in Americans’ fuzzy sense of what constitutes Americana?

Jan 22, 2020
Cover Photo: An image of Samin Nosrat in a white kitchen, smiling beatifically at someone just off-screen, as she adds herbs to a bowl of ingredients for a dinner on Salt Fat Acid Heat.
Samin Nosrat, Phil Rosenthal, and the Spirit of Eating with No Reservations

Do we hold the specialness of each meal at the core of our travel? Or is a meal that happens during a vacation a shadow of the memories it serves to create?

Nov 25, 2019
Cover Photo: Bobby Flay, chef and TV-show host, standing behind a makeshift cooking station on a stage, presenting something to the audience with energy.
Cooking, For Men: How Bobby Flay and Competitive Cooking Reinforce Hypermasculinity

I suspect that these shows, which characterize speed and hustle as natural elements of cooking, are part of the male professional kitchen’s effort to divorce their work from the feminine history of cooking.

Oct 23, 2019
Cover Photo: A photo of a slice of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting on a white plate, concealing cutlery, on a soothing yellow background.
Sandra Lee Opened a Can, Made a Cocktail, and Showed Me a Mother’s Love

Critics say that Sandra Lee’s idea of cooking is nothing more than opening a can and having a cocktail. Here’s the thing: That’s true! But who cares?

Sep 25, 2019