Rachael Domenica Ray
August 25, 1968
Rachael Domenica Ray (born August 25, 1968) is an American television personality, businesswoman, celebrity cook and author. She hosts the syndicated daily talk and lifestyle program Rachael Ray, and the Food Network series 30 Minute Meals. Other programs to her credit include Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels, $40 a Day, Rachael Ray's Week in a Day, and the reality format shows Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off and Rachael Ray's Kids Cook-Off. Ray has written several 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.
Life and career
Rachael Domenica Ray was born in Glens Falls, New York, the daughter of Elsa Providenza Scuderi and James Claude Ray. Her mother's ancestry is Sicilian and her father's is French, Scottish, and Welsh.
When Ray was 8, her family moved to Lake George, New York. Her mother managed restaurants in New York's Capital District, including the Lake George Howard Johnson's restaurant, located near the former Gaslight Village amusement park, which attracted many of the entertainers.
In 1995, Ray moved to New York City. She worked first at the Macy's Marketplace candy counter. When Macy's tried to promote her to a buyer in accessories, she moved to Agata & Valentina, a specialty foods store.
Moving back to The Adirondacks, 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 30 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 broadcast and the publication of her first book, led to a Today show spot and her first Food Network contract in 2001.
Ray, who favors a "quick and easy" cooking style, teaches many simple recipes that she says can be completed in 30 minutes or less, although critics claim her concept does not include preparation time.
Ray says her Sicilian maternal grandfather, Emmanuel Scuderi, and her Cajun ancestry both exert strong influences on her cooking. She uses ingredients such as fresh herbs, garlic, and chicken stock to boost flavors, and believes measuring "takes away from the creative, hands-on process of cooking." She, instead, favors approximations such as "half a palmful" or "2 pan swirl."
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), and "choup" (thicker than a soup but thinner than a chowder). 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.
One of Ray's specialties is burgers. She has devoted one of her published works to the topic, The Book of Burger.
In 2005, she signed a deal to host a syndicated daytime TV talk show. 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. 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".
In 2003, Ray posed for the men's magazine FHM. Though she was not nude in any of the photos, this drew criticism so harsh, not least of all from Ray's own mother, that in a March 2, 2009 ABC News Nightline interview she gave to Cynthia McFadden, an ABC News correspondent, Ray defended her decision to pose in the magazine. The interview quoted her as saying, "I'd do it again tomorrow."
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 10 issues in 2007. In October 2011, Meredith Corporation acquired the magazine.
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. 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 Ray as its celebrity endorser, mainly of its coffee, since she had denied being able to make coffee herself. As part of a promotional campaign, Ray describes the company's coffee as "fantabulous."
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's "Nutrish" pet food was introduced. The dog foods are created from recipes Ray developed for her pit bull, "Isaboo". All proceeds from the sale of these products go to Rachael's Rescue, a charity which Ray organized specifically to provide assistance for at-risk animals.
On September 24, 2005, in Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy, Ray married John M. Cusimano. Ray owns homes in Lake Luzerne, New York, and Manhattan's Greenwich Village. The Lake Luzerne home was destroyed in a fire on August 9, 2020. The next day, a director of emergency services with the county stated that there were no injuries to Ray or her family.
In 2006, Ray launched the Yum-O! nonprofit organization. Its mission 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."
- 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)
- Cooking Rocks!: Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals for Kids (2004)
- $40 a Day: Best Eats in Town (2004)
- Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Meals: Cooking 'Round the Clock (2004)
- Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Meals for Kids: Cooking Rocks! (2004)
- 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 Crowds (2006)
- Rachael Ray's Express Lane Meals (2006)
- Rachael Ray's Classic 30-Minute Meals: The All-Occasion Cookbook (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)
- Rachael Ray's Look and Cook (2010)
- The Book of Burger (2012)
- My Year in Meals (2012)
- Week in a Day (2013)
- Guy Food: Rachael Ray's Top 30 30-Minute Meals (2014)
- Kid Food: Rachael Ray's Top 30 30-Minute Meals (2014)
- Comfort Food: Rachael Ray's Top 30 30-Minute Meals (2014)
- Everyone is Italian on Sunday (2015)
- Rachael Ray 50: Memories and Meals from a Sweet and Savory Life: A Cookbook (2019)
Emmy Awards and nominations
|Year||Association||Nominated work||Result|
|2006||Daytime Emmy Award for Best Outstanding Service Show||30 Minute Meals||Won|
|Daytime Emmy Award for Best Outstanding Service Host||Nominated|
|2007||Daytime Emmy Award for Best Outstanding Talk Show Host||Rachael Ray|
|2008||Daytime Emmy Award for Best Outstanding Talk Show||Won|
|Daytime Emmy Award for Best Outstanding Service Host||30 Minute Meals|
|2010||Daytime Emmy Award for Best Outstanding Talk Host||Rachael Ray|
- 2004: ranked #92 on "FHM-U.S.'s 100 Sexiest Women 2004"
- 2006: ranked #71 on "FHM-U.S.'s 100 Sexiest Women 2006"
- 2006: named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people. She was nominated by fellow Food Network star Mario Batali
- 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 the world
- 2010: Ray was the inaugural honoree on the Ride of Fame
- 2011: People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Cook
- "Rachael Ray". Forbes. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
- Williams, Pat; Williams, Ruth (2008). How to Be Like Women of Power: Wisdom and Advice to Create Your Own Destiny. HCI. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-7573-0650-1.
- Keeps, David (May 28, 2010). "Rachael Ray's Rules for a Delicious Life". Good Housekeeping. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
- Keel, Beverly (September 10, 2005). "Rachael Ray's Recipe for Success". AmericanProfile.com. Archived from the original on February 14, 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2007.
- Hiltbrand, David (October 22, 2006). "One fast foodie". Charlotte Observer.
- Jacobs, Laura (September 11, 2007). "Just Say Yum-O!". vanityfair.com. Archived from the original on September 29, 2009. Retrieved October 4, 2009.
- Severson, Kim (October 19, 2005). "Being Rachael Ray: How Cool Is That?". The New York Times. Retrieved August 4, 2005.
- Keel, Beverly (October 19, 2005). "Rachael Ray's Recipe for Success". NewYorkTimes.com. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
- Pellettieri, Jill Hunter (July 13, 2005). "Rachael Ray – Why food snobs should stop picking on her". Slate Magazine. Retrieved January 15, 2007.
- "Rachael-isms (from Every Day with Rachael Ray)". RachaelRayMag.com. November–December 2005. Retrieved November 25, 2009.[permanent dead link]
- Food Network humor Archived May 13, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- "Adding a Little E-V-O-O...to the Dictionary!". RachaelRayShow.com. December 5, 2006. Archived from the original on December 24, 2007. Retrieved March 2, 2007.
- Stacy Jenel Smith. From Rachael Ray to Mary J., Celebrity Word-Making, an EVOO Trend Archived July 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Netscape.com. Accessed November 24, 2009.
- Ray, Rachael (2013). The Book of Burger. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781476744735.
- Barnes, Brooks (September 21, 2006). "TV Syndication's Ray of Hope?". The Wall Street Journal.
- Benson, Jim (December 4, 2005). "King World OKs Production on Ray". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved January 15, 2007.
- "Entertainment Index". ABC News.
- "Rachael's Vacation with Rachael Ray". Archived from the original on September 15, 2008.
- ""Viva Daisy!" Rachael Ray, Daisy Martinez Cooking Up New Latino Food Show". Huffington Post. January 8, 2009.
- "Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off on Food Network - FN Dish – Food Network Blog". July 29, 2011.
- "EXCLUSIVE: Rachael Ray Spills on Her Surprise 'Gilmore Girls' Role Filling in For Melissa McCarthy!". November 26, 2016.
- Sneak Peek Of Rachael's Role In Halloween Episode Of Butterbean's Café On Nick Jr., October 4, 2019, retrieved October 7, 2019
- McFadden, Cynthia. "Rachael Ray: "I Don't Regret a Thing."". Nightline. ABC News. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
- Shea, Danny (March 2, 2009). "Rachael Ray Defends FHM Shoot: "I'd Do It Again Tomorrow" (Photos, Video)". Huffington Post.
- Meredith to Acquire Every Day with Rachael Ray, PR Newswire, October 12, 2011
- "Rachael Ray Debuts at WestPoint". Home Textiles Today. February 2007. Archived from the original on October 15, 2007. Retrieved September 5, 2007.
- "WestPoint helps Rachael Ray mop up". Home Textiles Today. August 9, 2007. Archived from the original on October 15, 2007. Retrieved September 5, 2007.
- Reidy, Chris (March 9, 2007). "The new face of Dunkin' Donuts". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 5, 2007.
- Sprague, Tibet. "A (Rachael) Ray to light up the jewelry district". Providence Daily Dose.com. Retrieved October 7, 2008.
- "AT&T and LimeLife Launch New Mobile Application 'Rachael Ray Recipes on the Run'". AT&T Corporate News Room. May 23, 2007. Retrieved September 5, 2007.
- "A Rachael Ray Food Truck for the Dogs". Associated Press. October 17, 2012. Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
- "Rachael Ray and Del Webb Team Up!". 55places.com. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
- Experts Media (October 19, 2005). "Being Rachael Ray: How Cool Is That?". Experts Media. Archived from the original (– Scholar search) on February 23, 2007. Retrieved January 15, 2007.
- Hill, Michael (January 27, 2006). "Rachael Ray expands her reach". Archived from the original on August 11, 2014. Retrieved January 15, 2007. Cite journal requires
- "Warren County Sheriff told: Rachel Ray's house on fire". KRON-TV. August 9, 2020. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
- Respers France, Lisa (August 10, 2020). "Rachael Ray and family safe after house fire". CNN. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
- "Rachael Ray's Yum-o". Archived from the original on July 1, 2010.
- Hirsch, J.M. (April 25, 2007). "Rachael Ray launches charity and teams with Bill Clinton to get kids eating healthier". North County Times. Retrieved September 5, 2007.
- Batali, Mario (April 30, 2006). "Rachael Ray". Time Magazine. Archived from the original on May 15, 2006. Retrieved January 15, 2007.
- "#79 Rachael Ray – The 2009 Celebrity 100". Forbes. June 3, 2009.
- "Rachael Takes the Ride of Fame". May 25, 2010. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
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