For most people, being described as "fast" and "cheap" is not a good thing. But perky chef and bestselling author Rachael Ray has built a culinary empire on being just those things. Ray realized early...
Glens Falls, New York, USA
|$40 A Day||2004 2000 - 2004||Host||n/a||20045|
|Rachael's Vacation||2007 2006 - 2007||Host||n/a||20075|
|The Marriage Ref||2010 2008 - 2010||Actor||Judge Panel||20107|
|Rachael Ray's Open House||2006 2005 - 2006||Actor||Herself||20067|
|The Best Thing I Ever Ate||2011 2007 - 2011||Actor||Herself||20117|
|34th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards||2006 2005 - 2006||Actor||Presenter||20067|
|Rachael Ray||2013 2005 - 2013||Host||n/a||20135|
|Shaq vs.||2009 2007 - 2009||Actor||n/a||20097|
|Rachael Vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off||2013 2010 - 2013||Actor||Herself||20137|
|Million Dollar Password||2007 2006 - 2007||Actor||Celebrity Contestant||20077|
|Food Network Star||2012 2003 - 2012||Actor||Guest Judge(Rachael Ray Show)||20127|
|Who Wants to Be a Millionaire||2008 1997 - 2008||Actor||n/a||20087|
|The Tonight Show With Jay Leno||2013 1990 - 2013||Actor||Guest||20137|
|The Jay Leno Show||2009 2008 - 2009||Actor||n/a||20097|
|I Get That a Lot||2012 2007 - 2012||Actor||n/a||20127|
|The 40th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards||2012 2011 - 2012||Presenter||n/a||1|
|Iron Chef America||2013 2003 - 2013||Actor||Guest Chef(Challenger)||20137|
|Extreme Makeover: Home Edition: A Veterans Day Special||2011 2010 - 2011||Actor||n/a||20117|
|The 38th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards||2010 2009 - 2010||Presenter||n/a||1|
|The 33rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards||2005 2004 - 2005||Actor||Presenter||20057|
|30 Rock||2012 2005 - 2012||Actor||Herself||20127|
|The 37th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards||2009 2008 - 2009||Presenter||n/a||1|
|The 32nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards||2004 2003 - 2004||Actor||Presenter||20047|
|The 39th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards||2011 2010 - 2011||Actor||n/a||20117|
|The 2nd Annual Quill Awards||2006 2005 - 2006||Actor||Winner||20067|
|Began her career at Macy's Marketplace in New York, first at the candy counter and then as the manager of the fresh foods department|
|Next hosted "$40 a Day" and "Inside Dish" for the Food Network|
|Helped to Agata & Valentina, the prestigious New York gourmet marketplace, where she was the store manager and buyer|
|Published the companion cookbook, 30 Minute Meals, which sold 10,000 copies|
|Managed pubs and restaurants at the famed Sagamore resort on Lake George|
|Signed a deal with Oprah Winfrey and King World Productions to host her own daytime talk show|
|Offered by an Albany TV station to do a weekly "30 Minute Meals" segment for the evening news; the show was nominated for two regional Emmys|
|Produced the Latin cooking show "Viva Daisy!" for the Food Network, starring Daisy Martínez|
|Premiered her series, "Rachael's Vacation," on the Food Network|
|Recruited by Cowan & Lobel, a large gourmet market in Albany, to be its food buyer; later began a series of cooking classes|
|Raised in upstate New York|
|Endorsed and served as the spokeswoman for Dunkin Donuts; also helped launch a new health-conscious menu|
|Launched her magazine, Everyday with Rachael Ray, in coordination with Reader's Digest|
|Joined the Food Network as host of "30 Minute Meals"|
|Hosted "Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels" on the Food Network|
Born Aug. 25, 1968 in Cape Cod, MA, Ray was raised in a world of food. Her family owned a restaurant where Ray learned tricks of the trade by watching her mother, Elsa Scuderi, work magic in the kitchen. One of Ray's earliest memories was burning herself at age three while imitating her mother cooking with a spatula. She and sister Maria and brother Emmanuel (Manny) performed every job in the restaurant - from busing tables to washing dishes. The family soon relocated to New York where her mom worked as food supervisor for a chain of upstate restaurants.
Eventually, Ray landed a job at NYC's Macy's Marketplace - first at the candy counter and then as manager of the fresh food department. After leaving Macy's, Ray helped open Agata & Valentina - a renowned gourmet food marketplace in the city. She eventually served as manager and buyer for the establishment, but yearned to move away from the hustle and bustle to the quieter Adirondacks. Once relocated upstate, she managed several pubs and restaurants at Sagamore Resort on Lake George. Cowan & Lobel, a large gourmet market in Albany, took notice and hired Ray to be their food buyer. As a way to pad the pocketbook during the holidays, Ray instructed cooking classes, calling them "30-Minute Meals." During these classes, the self-effacing cook taught in three hour blocks, featuring her own 30-minute recipes and using basic food ingredients - even cheating by using pre-packaged mixes and sauces as ways to cut financial corners.
It was her ability to connect with people one-on-one in this normally intimidating environment that first got her noticed on a grander scale. The classes became so popular that local Albany media covered her instructions and found her up-beat, down-to-earth personality a plus with viewers. A local TV news station featured "30-Minute Meals" on their evening news program to such great success, that not only did it win two regional Emmys and spawn a successful local cookbook, that even "The Today Show" took notice. Jane Pauley's request for Ray's turkey chili recipe was an early career highlight for the emerging chef in 2001.
It was only natural that The Food Network would come calling, offering the now-validated Ray her own show in 2001. The rest is culinary history. Ray's first offering - not unlike her cooking class that started it all - "30-Minute Meals" (2002- ) became such a success by viewers put off by the intricacies of cooking a la "Iron Chef," that more programs would soon follow. Ray next helmed "$40 a Day" (2002 - ) where she vacationed around the world, showing travelers how to eat well on a small budget in even the most expensive cities. This was followed by "Inside Dish" (2004- ) where she visited celebs to discuss their favorite foods. Her latest offering - "Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels" (2005 - ) further drove home her main point - you do not have to have tons of money to live a good, healthy life. This message was not lost by average viewers who tuned in en mass to watch her bubbly, ditzy personality (all food was "Delish!") and to latch on to "Racheal-isms" - her excitable abbreviations (EVOO: Extra Virgin Olive Oil or TWO TURNS OF THE PAN) while whipping up You-won't-be-Single-for-Long Vodka Crème Pasta or Devilish Chili Cheese Dogs.
Wanting to expand her influence, Ray, known for writing 600 recipes a year, authored numerous cookbooks in the last few years, including Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Meals: Cooking 'Round the Clock, The Open House Cookbook, Comfort Foods, Veggie Meals and Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats--A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners.
The Rachael Ray phenomenon continued when she posed for FHM's US version in October, 2003, licking chocolate off the spoon clad only in lingerie. The photo - and no doubt the inevitable connection between food and sex - helped land her on the magazine's "100 Sexiest Women of 2004" poll. When she promoted Wusthof's Santoku knife, sales skyrocketed enough that she decided to promote her own line of cutlery. Ray even appeared in a 2003 Burger King commercial, promoting a chicken sandwich because, well, she actually liked it. Gourmet chefs shuddered yet again, but Ray stayed true to herself and her audience. Love her or hate her, this ability to see the bigger picture had served her well in a brief period of time by anyone's standards.
With success of this kind, came the inevitable detractors. Professional chefs and elitist food critics cried foul each time Rachael reached for a box of Bisquick. Entire blogs, including "Rachael Ray Sucks" sprung up on the internet. Regardless of these critics, Ray knew her message was being driven home when strangers began stopping her on the street to offer their own quickie recipes and thanking her for understanding their situations as working moms and dads with little spare time. Because Ray's ingredients could all be bought at the average grocery store, everyone could try the recipes at home to great success. And they did.
Although often described as "the anti-Martha" (a plaque reading "Martha Stewart doesn't live here" hangs in her Adirondacks' home), Ray recently launched her first bi-monthly magazine called Every Day with Rachael Ray. And landing the dream of all who wish to move to the next level of fame and success in American pop culture, Ray inked a deal with Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions for her first daily TV talk show.
By Jenna Girard
|John Cusimano||Husband||Member of the band "The Cringe"; married Sept. 24, 2005 in Montalcino, Italy|
|James Ray||Father||Split from Rachael's mother when she was 12|
|Emmanuel Ray||Grandfather||Was a stonemason who emigrated from Sicily to the Adirondacks|
|Elsa Scuderi||Mother||Split from Rachael's father when she was 12; lives with Rachael and her husband, John|
|Offical website: www.rachaelraymag.com|
|"Everything I own has stretch in it, because all good things must give." - Ray to People magazine, May 14, 2007|
|In February 2007, WestPoint Home launched sheets, blankets, and coverlets designed by Ray.|
|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. All proceeds from the sale of these products go to Rachael's Rescue, a charity founded by Ray to help at-risk animals.|
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