Food Network veteran and celebrity chef Rachael Ray is launching a "virtual restaurant" through a partnership with Uber Eats in 13 cities, and that includes Houston.
Fans hoping to see Ray pour out the EVOO in person will be out of luck since the concept will have no brick-and-mortar presence. Instead, the roughly dozen dishes will be available for delivery through the popular platform.
The restaurant debuted October 17, following the October 15 release of Ray’s latest cookbook: Rachael Ray 50: Memories and Meals from a Sweet and Savory Life. The recipe collection features comfort food favorites and recollections from the author’s remarkable career.
The virtual restaurant’s menu was mostly pulled from the book, but Ray pulled a few tried-and-true entrees from her file. Diners can expect buffalo pulled chicken chili with smoked blue ranch sauce, a tahini Caesar salad with za’atar croutons, and an egg tagliatelle Bolognese.
Find Ray's food by clicking on the Rachael Ray banner at the top of the app, or by searching "Rachael Ray to Go." Prices range from $3.95 to $13.95, not including taxes or Uber delivery fees.
Although Uber Eats has not worked such a big name, it does have a stake in the virtual business model. The company has worked to establish 1,500 so-called dark kitchens in the United States and Canada. Here in Houston, former Aqui chef Gabriel Medina has launched Click Virtual Food Hall, a delivery-only restaurant that offers six different cuisines on a similar model.
In addition to Houston, the virtual cafe is also popping up in Dallas, Austin, New York City, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Chattanooga, and Toronto.
The Rachel Ray cafe, however, will not be a permanent gig for Uber Eats. The pop-up only lasts until the end of December.