We already warned you that Rachael Ray was throwing a SXSW party, and now we’ve got to let you know how it all went down. On Saturday, the final day of the rowdy music festival, Ray hosted a daytime shindig at Austin’s Beauty Bar. By noon, when the doors were scheduled to open, about 100 hung-over people (myself included) were already waiting in line—out of either curiosity, or love for RayRay, or maybe just for the free food that had been promised on the invite.
Anyhoo, she did come through on the food tip: Guests’ plates were heaped with mac ’n’ cheese, chicken and cornbread casserole, barbecue spare ribs, and “seven-layer sliders,” which Ray described as “the highest, the best, most messed-up burger of every burger I’ve ever (created).” Ray wasn’t serving the food herself, but her minions were squirting the burgers with large pastry bags of guacamole—a quick and clean way to administer the condiment.
One of the party’s sponsors, Rose’s Mojito, provided free cocktails that tasted something like alcoholic Crystal Light (but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to pounding two in a row … dude, I was thirsty).
Inside the bar, the deafening DJ set (definitely the loudest thing I experienced in four days of rock shows) was provided by Efren Ramirez, a.k.a. Pedro Sanchez of Napoleon Dynamite. But wait—it gets weirder. Indie rock blog Pitchfork Media reports:
On the back patio, one of Rachael’s favorite bands, Denmark’s Raveonettes, performed … while Ms. Ray stood sidestage looking to be having the time of her life. Later, her husband’s band Cringe took the stage with a guest appearance by ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons. At an already odd SXSW party hosted by a cable TV chef and featuring an also-ran indie movie star, Gibbons’ presence threw the WTF factor way over the roof.
Molto bizarre-o. The event also included performances by AutoVaughn, Scissors for Lefty, the Stills, and Holy Fuck (for reals, yo). But Ray’s husband’s band, The Cringe, was the only performer that left huge piles of T-shirts and CDs around the bar, free for the taking.