Of all the sponsored events at the South by Southwest music festival, Rachael Ray's artist showcase may have been the most puzzling.
After all, Ray is the cherub-faced, perky cook and host of her own daytime TV show — and there she was at SXSW playing host to edgy acts like The Raveonettes.
Ray brushed aside the idea that her presence at SXSW, which ended Sunday, was out of place.
"I guess people think that I just live in a kitchen but I love music, every type of music," she told The Associated Press as she cooled off from the Texas heat in an air-conditioned bus.
"I listen to jazz, my husband and I go to the opera a few times a year, we both love indie rock, go to a lot of indie rock shows. It's not surprising to me," she continued. "I know that I'm more than just a cook. I think that's why people probably thought it was so weird but I married a man who has an indie-rock band, so how is it that weird when you really think about it?"
That band, The Cringe (led by her hubby John Cusimano), were among the performers at Ray's showcase, which had people lined outside the door waiting to get in. But music wasn't the only draw: after all, Ray's claim to fame is her cooking.
So, she made up three recipes for the event, including a seven-layer slider and a vegetarian macaroni and cheese, which were among the dishes served up to the packed crowd.
Though this was Ray's first time at SXSW, she's a regular to the city of Austin: "I think of every excuse in the world to come back."
"I've also loved Austin because it's the live music capitol of the world," she added. "I've always come down and made sure that I go out and listen to different music, so it's great to see that kind of on steroids."