Rachael Domenica Ray
(born August 25, 1968) is an
American television personality, chef and author. She hosts the
talk and lifestyle
program Rachael Ray
and three Food Network
30 Minute Meals
Rachael Ray's Tasty
and $40 a Day
. Ray wrote
cookbooks based on the 30 Minute Meals
launched a magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray
born in Glens Falls, New
York, to Elsa Scuderi, an Italian (Sicilian) American
and James Ray, who is of French, Scottish and Welsh
descent. Ray grew up in Lake George, New
York. Her family owned a restaurant on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, called the Carvery, and her mother managed
restaurants in upstate New
job was at the candy counter at Macy's in New York City, where she eventually managed the fresh foods
She later helped open a New York City market.
Moving back to upstate New York, Ray managed Mister Brown's Pub at
, a hotel on Lake George.
there, she became a buyer at Cowan & Lobel, a gourmet market in
credits the concept of 30 Minute Meals
to her experience
working at the store, where she met people who were reluctant to
cook. She taught a course in which she showed how to make meals in
less than thirty minutes. With the success of her "30 Minute Meals"
classes, WRGB (the local
CBS TV affiliate) asked her to appear in a
weekly segment on their newscasts.
This, along with a public
radio appearance and the publication of her first book, led to a
show spot and her
first Food Network contract in 2001.
September 24, 2005 in Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy, Ray married
John Cusimano, a lawyer and lead singer of the rock band The Cringe. She owns homes in
New York, and Manhattan's Greenwich Village.
Ray teaches simple recipes that she claims can be prepared in 30
minutes or less, although critics claim that her 30-minute concept
does not account for preparation times and meals cannot be
completed in half an hour. The best time a reviewer managed was 49
Ray says that her Sicilian maternal grandfather, Emmanuel Scuderi,
and her Cajun ancestry serve as a strong influence on her cooking.
She uses ingredients such as fresh herbs, garlic and chicken stock
to boost flavors. She believes that measuring "takes away from the
creative, hands-on process of cooking" and instead favors
approximations such as "half a palmful".To critics of her shortcut
techniques, Ray responds, "I have no formal anything. I'm
completely unqualified for any job I've ever had." She acknowledges
that she cannot bake (because it requires measured ingredients),
that she cannot make coffee, and that she burns bread under the
On her television programs, she has coined
such as "EVOO"
(extra-virgin olive oil
), "yum-o", "G.B."
(garbage bowl), "Oh my gravy!", "entréetizer" (entrée-sized
appetizer), and "stoup" (cross between a soup and stew). In 2007,
The Oxford American College Dictionary
addition of the term EVOO
(short for extra virgin olive oil
), which Ray has helped to popularize,
and credited her with coining the phrase.
The set of 30 Minute Meals
uses a yellow Model 61C
from the 1950s,
notable for its top-opening broiler, super-insulated oven, and
On November 12, 2006, Ray and Mario
defeated the team of Bobby
and Giada De Laurentiis
on an episode of Iron Chef
during which cranberries were the secret
ingredient. On March 18, 2007, Food Network debuted a Rachael Ray
episode of its special Chefography
series, on which she stated
that "the worst day of (her) life" was Iron Chef America
admitting to being anxious about it weeks before.
In 2005, Ray signed a deal with Oprah
and King World
to host a syndicated
daytime TV talk show
. The show, Rachael Ray
, premiered on
September 18, 2006. Recurrent appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show
to fuel the launch, much as Dr. Phil's
show was spun off
based on his own
frequent visits to Oprah
. The show tapes in New York City.
In coordination with the syndication announcement, Ray said,
"People know me for my love of food, but I have so much more I want
Ray has appeared on The View
The Today Show
The Tonight Show with
, The Late Show with David
, Late Night with Conan
, and Larry King
For Sesame Street
season, Ray appeared in an episode to present "pumpernickel
" as the word of the day
On January 12, 2008, Ray's television series Rachael's Vacation
premiered on the
Food Network. The show is a five-part food travelogue shot in
various European countries.
In 2008 Ray became a producer of a Latin cooking show on the
. The show starred Daisy
In August 2009, Ray appeared as herself on Who Wants to Be a
for charity for Yum-O! and her own charity for
animal rescue with Regis
In 2003, she posed for the men's magazine FHM
. A writer for The New York Times
wrote, "The shots
feature Ray in short-shorts
exposed midriff, licking chocolate off a big wooden spoon, eating a
strawberry and sitting in a sink, laughing as suds cascade down her
thighs."In a March 2009 interview with Nightline
McFadden, Ray defended her decision to pose provocatively in
men's magazine FHM
in 2003, when she was 35 years old.
The Reader's Digest
launched Ray's eponymous magazine, Every Day
with Rachael Ray
on October 25, 2005. The magazine featured
seven issues in 2006, and increased to ten issues in 2007.
In November 2006, Ray became a spokesman for Nabisco
crackers. She appears in commercials and on
boxes for the many Nabisco products. Many boxes with Ray's picture
have her recipes.
In February 2007, WestPoint Home
launched sheets, blankets, and coverlets designed by Ray. Within
six months, WestPoint expanded Ray's bed and bath line to include
the "Moppine", a two-in-one dish towel/oven mitt, as Ray is often
seen with a kitchen towel over her shoulder that doubles for her as
an ersatz mitt.
In March 2007, the Dunkin' Donuts
company announced Rachel as its celebrity endorser. As part of a
promotional campaign, Ray describes the company's coffee as
"fantabulous". Celebrity chef
personality Anthony Bourdain
has referred to Ray's
affiliation with Dunkin' Donuts
"evil", and that it is like "endorsing crack for kids."
In May 2007, Ray's recipes were made available on AT&T cellular
phones via the "Rachael Ray Recipes on the Run" feature.
In July 2008, Rachael Ray Nutrish pet food was introduced. The dog
foods are created from recipes that Ray developed for her pit bull
, Isaboo. All proceeds from the sale of
these products go to Rachael's Rescue, a charity founded by Ray to
help at-risk animals.
Awards and recognition
- 2004, ranked #92 on "FHM-U.S.'s 100 Sexiest
- 2006, ranked #71 on "FHM-U.S.'s 100 Sexiest
- 2006, 30 Minute Meals
received a Daytime Emmy Award for
Outstanding Service Show. Ray was also nominated for Outstanding
Service Show Host.
- 2006, named one of Time
magazine's 100 most influential people. She was nominated by fellow
Food Network star Mario Batali.
- 2006, according to Forbes
magazine, Ray earned about $6
million June 2005-June 2006 from her books and television shows
(excluding her new series, Rachael Ray).
- February 21, 2007, Ray announced on her show
that a wax creation was made of her and that this wax figure will
be on display at Madame
Tussaud's Wax Museum
in New York City.
- 2007, nominated for Daytime Emmy
Award, Outstanding Talk Show Host
- April 2007, Ray launched a charity, "The Yum-O! Organization",
with help from Bill Clinton, to help
children eat healthier.
- June 2008, The Rachael
Ray Show received a Daytime
Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show/Entertainment
- June 2008, according to Forbes
magazine, Ray earned about $18
million June 2007-June 2008
- June 2009, according to Forbes
magazine, Ray earned about $15 million in the year ending June
2009, as well as naming her as the 79th most powerful celebrity in
- August 2009, The Rachael
Ray Show received a second Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk
Ray's nonprofit, "Yum-O organization", launched in 2006, aims to
help children and families develop a healthy relationship with
food. The organization introduces children and families to the
kitchen, helps combat childhood hunger in the U.S., and raises
money for food-based educational programs and scholarships.
- 30 Minute Meals (1999)
- Rachael Ray's Open House Cookbook (2000)
- Comfort Foods (2001)
- Veggie Meals (2001)
- 30-Minute Meals 2 (2003)
- Get Togethers: Rachael Ray 30 Minute Meals (2003)
- $40 a Day: Best Eats in Town (2004)
- Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Meals: Cooking 'Round the
- Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Meals for Kids: Cooking Rocks!
- Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Get Real Meals : Eat Healthy
Without Going to Extremes (2005)
- Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats: A Year of Deliciously
Different Dinners (2005)
- Rachael Ray 2, 4, 6, 8: Great Meals for Couples or
- Rachael Ray's Express Lane Meals (2006)
- Rachael Ray: Just In Time (2007)
- Yum-O! The Family Cookbook (2008)
- Rachael Ray's Big Orange Book (2008)
- Rachael Ray's Book Of 10: More Than 300 Recipes To Cook
Every Day (2009)
- (registration required)
- Stacy Jenel Smith. From Rachael Ray to Mary J., Celebrity Word-Making,
an EVOO Trend. Netscape.com. Accessed 2009-11-24.
- ABC News: Rachael Ray Has New Food Network Series
- Rachael's Vacation with Rachael Ray
- Top 100 Celebrities - Rachel Ray (2006).
- Yum-O Website http://www.yum-o.org Retrieved November 8,