Rachael Ray

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This article is about the person. For her television series, see Rachael Ray (TV series). For the Anthony Trollope novel, see Rachel Ray (novel).
Rachael Ray
Rachael Ray.jpg
Ray in April 2007
Born Rachael Ray
(1968-08-25) August 25, 1968 (age 46)
Glens Falls, New York, U.S.
Occupation Television host, businesswoman, author, celebrity chef[1]
Years active 2001–present
Style Quick and easy
Spouse(s) John Cusimano (2005–present)

Rachael Ray (born August 25, 1968) is an American television personality, businesswoman, celebrity chef and author. She hosts the syndicated daily talk and lifestyle program Rachael Ray, and three Food Network series (30 Minute Meals, Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels, and $40 a Day). Other programs to her credit include Rachael Ray's Week In A Day and the reality format show Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off. Ray wrote cookbooks based on the 30 Minute Meals concept, and launched a magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, in 2006. Ray's television shows have won three Daytime Emmy Awards.

Early life[edit]

Rachael Ray was born in Glens Falls, New York.[2][3][4] She moved to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where her family owned four restaurants. When Ray was 8, her family moved to Lake George, New York. Her mother managed restaurants in upstate New York.[2]

In 1995, Ray moved to New York City.[5] One of her first jobs there was at the candy counter at Macy's, where she eventually managed the fresh foods department. She later helped open a New York City market. Moving back to upstate New York, Ray managed Mister Brown's Pub at The Sagamore, a hotel on Lake George. From there, she became a buyer at Cowan & Lobel, a gourmet market in Albany. Ray 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 Today show spot and her first Food Network contract in 2001.



Ray teaches simple recipes that she says can be completed in 30 minutes or less, although critics claim that her concept does not include preparation.[6]
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."[5] She acknowledges that she cannot bake because it requires measured ingredients, that she cannot make coffee, and that she burns bread under the broiler.

On her television programs, she has used catchphrases such as "E-V-O-O" (extra-virgin olive oil), "yum-o," "G.B." (garbage bowl), "Oh my gravy!", "entréetizer" (entrée-sized appetizer), "stoup" (cross between a soup and stew),[7] and "choup" (thicker than a soup but thinner than a chowder).[8] In 2007, The Oxford American College Dictionary announced the addition of the term EVOO, short for extra-virgin olive oil, which Ray had helped to popularize, and credited her with coining the phrase.[9][10]

The set of 30 Minute Meals uses a yellow Model 61C Chambers stove from the 1950s, notable for its top-opening broiler, super-insulated oven, and unique Thermowell.
On November 12, 2006, Ray and Mario Batali defeated the team of Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis on an episode of Iron Chef America 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 for weeks before.
She also told commentator Alton Brown that she was "a cook, not a chef." Mo Rocca, then one of the guest judges for that episode and later host of My Grandmother's Ravioli, disagreed.


In 2005, Ray signed a deal to host a syndicated daytime TV talk show.[11] The show, Rachael Ray, premiered on September 18, 2006. Recurrent appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show were used to fuel the launch, much as Dr. Phil's show was spun off based on his own frequent visits to Oprah.[12] 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 to share."

Ray has appeared on, among other programs than her own, The View, The Today Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Late Show with David Letterman, ABC News Nightline, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Larry King Live, Buddy Valastro's Cake Boss, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and The Dr. Oz Show.
For Sesame Street’s 38th 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.[13] The show was a five-part food travelogue shot in various European countries.[14]

In 2008, Ray became a television executive producer[15] of a short-lived Latin cooking show on the Food Network called Viva Daisy!, starring Daisy Martínez.
In August of 2009, Ray competed on Million Dollar Password for charity for Yum-O! and her own charity for animal rescue with Regis Philbin.
Ray also appeared on the hidden-camera show I Get That a Lot, pretending to be an employee at a dry cleaner shop. In September of 2010, a new show, her first new cooking show in eight years, Rachael Ray's Week In A Day, began airing on the Cooking Channel.
In January of 2012, Rachael was one of the two team captains, Guy Fieri being the other, in the Food Network reality series Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off.[16]


In 2003, Ray posed for the men's magazine FHM. A writer for The New York Times wrote, "The shots feature Ray in short-shorts with an exposed midriff, licking chocolate off a big wooden spoon, eating a strawberry and sitting in a sink, laughing as suds cascade down her thighs."[5] In a March 2009 interview with Nightline co-anchor Cynthia McFadden, Ray defended her decision to pose in the magazine.[17]
The Reader's Digest Association launched Ray's magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray on October 25, 2005. The magazine featured seven issues in 2006, and increased to ten issues in 2007.
On October 12, 2011, it was announced that Meredith Corporation had reached an agreement to acquire Every Day with Rachael Ray.[18]

Product endorsements[edit]

Ray at the Red Dress Collection in 2007

In November 2006, Ray became a spokeswoman 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.[19] 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.[20]

In March 2007, the Dunkin' Donuts company announced Ray as its celebrity endorser, mainly of its coffee, since she had denied being able to make coffee herself.[21] As part of a promotional campaign, Ray describes the company's coffee as "fantabulous."[22]

In May 2007, Ray's recipes were made available on AT&T cellular phones via the "Rachael Ray Recipes on the Run" feature.[23] In July 2008, Rachael Ray's "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.[24]

Personal life[edit]

On September 24, 2005, in Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy, Ray married John Cusimano, an American lawyer and lead singer of the rock band The Cringe. She owns homes in Lake Luzerne, New York, and Manhattan's Greenwich Village.[25][26]

Charity work[edit]

In 2006, Rachael Ray launched a nonprofit organization called Yum-O! The mission of Yum-O! is to “empower kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking. This is achieved by teaching families to cook, feeding hungry kids, and funding cooking education”.[27][28]



Awards and recognition[edit]

Emmy Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Subject Result
2006 Daytime Emmy Award for Best Outstanding Service Show 30 Minute Meals Won
2006 Daytime Emmy Award for Best Outstanding Service Host 30 Minute Meals Nominated
2007 Daytime Emmy Award for Best Outstanding Talk Show Host Rachael Ray Nominated
2008 Daytime Emmy Award for Best Outstanding Talk Show Rachael Ray Won
2009 Daytime Emmy Award for Best Outstanding Talk Show Rachael Ray Won
2009 Daytime Emmy Award for Best Outstanding Talk Host Rachael Ray Nominated
2009 Daytime Emmy Award for Best Outstanding Service Host 30 Minute Meals Nominated
2010 Daytime Emmy Award for Best Outstanding Talk Host Rachael Ray Nominated
2011 Daytime Emmy Award for Best Outstanding Talk Host Rachael Ray Nominated
2012 Daytime Emmy Award for Best Outstanding Talk Host Rachael Ray Nominated
2013 Daytime Emmy Award for Best Outstanding Talk Host Rachael Ray Nominated

Other awards and honors[edit]


  1. ^ Linda Childers. 6 celebrity chef-preneurs. CNN. Accessed 2011-08-04.
  2. ^ a b Keel, Beverly (10/9/2005). "Rachael Ray's Recipe for Success". AmericanProfile.com. Archived from the original on 2008-02-14. Retrieved 2007-01-15.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ Hiltbrand, David (October 22, 2006). "One fast foodie". Charlotte Observer. 
  4. ^ Jacobs, Laura (September 11, 2007). "Just Say Yum-O!". vanityfair.com. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  5. ^ a b c Severson, Kim (October 19, 2005). "Being Rachael Ray: How Cool Is That?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2005-08-04. 
  6. ^ Pellettieri, Jill Hunter (July 13, 2005). "Rachael Ray – Why food snobs should stop picking on her". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 2007-01-15. 
  7. ^ "Rachael-isms (from Every Day with Rachael Ray)". RachaelRayMag.com. November–December 2005. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  8. ^ Food Network humor
  9. ^ "Adding a Little E-V-O-O...to the Dictionary!". RachaelRayShow.com. December 5, 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-02. 
  10. ^ Stacy Jenel Smith. From Rachael Ray to Mary J., Celebrity Word-Making, an EVOO Trend. Netscape.com. Accessed 2009-11-24.
  11. ^ Barnes, Brooks (September 21, 2006). "TV Syndication's Ray of Hope?". The Wall Street Journal. 
  12. ^ Benson, Jim (December 4, 2005). "King World OKs Production on Ray". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2007-01-15. 
  13. ^ ABC News: Rachael Ray Has New Food Network Series
  14. ^ Rachael's Vacation with Rachael Ray
  15. ^ ""Viva Daisy!" Rachael Ray, Daisy Martinez Cooking Up New Latino Food Show". Huffington Post. January 8, 2009. 
  16. ^ Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off: New Show Premieres This Winter
  17. ^ Shea, Danny (March 2, 2009). "Rachael Ray Defends FHM Shoot: "I'd Do It Again Tomorrow" (PHOTOS, VIDEO)". Huffington Post. 
  18. ^ Meredith to Acquire Every Day with Rachael Ray, PR Newswire, October 12, 2011
  19. ^ "Rachael Ray Debuts at WestPoint". Home Textiles Today. February 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  20. ^ "WestPoint helps Rachael Ray mop up". Home Textiles Today. August 9, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  21. ^ Reidy, Chris (March 9, 2007). "The new face of Dunkin' Donuts". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  22. ^ Sprague, Tibet. "A (Rachael) Ray to light up the jewelry district". Providence Daily Dose.com. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  23. ^ "AT&T and LimeLife Launch New Mobile Application 'Rachael Ray Recipes on the Run'". AT&T Corporate News Room. May 23, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  24. ^ "A Rachael Ray Food Truck for the Dogs". Associated Press. October 17, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-17. [dead link]
  25. ^ Experts Media (October 19, 2005). "Being Rachael Ray: How Cool Is That?" (– Scholar search). Experts Media. Archived from the original on 2007-02-23. Retrieved 2007-01-15. [dead link]
  26. ^ Hill, Michael (January 27, 2006). "Rachael Ray expands her reach". Retrieved 2007-01-15. 
  27. ^ "Rachel Ray's Yum-o". 
  28. ^ Hirsch, J.M. (April 25, 2007). "Rachael Ray launches charity and teams with Bill Clinton to get kids eating healthier". North County Times. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  29. ^ Batali, Mario (April 30, 2006). "Rachael Ray". Time Magazine. Retrieved 2007-01-15. 
  30. ^ "#79 Rachael Ray – The 2009 Celebrity 100". Forbes. June 3, 2009. 
  31. ^ "Rachael Takes the Ride of Fame". May 25, 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 

External links[edit]