Rachael Ray

This article is about the person. For her television series, see Rachael Ray (TV series). For the Anthony Trollope novel, see Rachel Ray (novel). For the fashion designer, see Rachel Roy.
Rachael Ray

Ray in April 2007
Born Rachael Domenica Ray
(1968-08-25) August 25, 1968
Glens Falls, New York, U.S.
Website rachaelray.com

Culinary career

Cooking style Quick and easy

Rachael 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 three Food Network series (30 Minute Meals, Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels, and $40 a Day).[1] Other programs to her credit include Rachael Ray's Week In A Day and the reality format shows Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, Rachael vs. Guy: Kids 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.

Early life

Rachael Ray was born in Glens Falls, New York, the daughter of Elsa Providenza Scuderi and James Claude Ray.[2] Her mother's ancestry is Italian and her father's is French, Scottish, and Welsh.[3][4][5][6][7] When Ray was 8, her family moved to Lake George, New York. Her mother managed restaurants in New York's Capital District, including a Howard Johnson's located across the street from Gaslight Village, that attracted many of the Gaslight Village entertainers.[5]

In 1995, Ray moved to New York City.[8] 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 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 appearance and the publication of her first book, led to a Today show spot and her first Food Network contract in 2001.



Ray 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.[9] Ray says her Sicilian maternal grandfather, Emmanuel Scuderi, and her Cajun ancestry strongly influence 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".

To critics of her shortcut techniques, Ray responds, "I have no formal anything. I'm completely unqualified for any job I've ever had." [8] She has also repeatedly said, "I'm not a chef."[10]

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),[11] and "choup" (thicker than a soup but thinner than a chowder).[12] 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.[13][14]


Ray hosted 30 Minute Meals on Food Network for 27 seasons from 2001-2012.[15]

In 2005, she signed a deal to host a syndicated daytime TV talk show.[16] 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.[17] 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."

On January 12, 2008, Ray's television series Rachael's Vacation premiered on the Food Network.[18] The show was a five-part food travelogue shot in various European countries.[19]

In 2008, Ray became a television executive producer[20] of a short-lived Latin cooking show on the Food Network, called Viva Daisy!, starring Daisy Martínez.
In January 2012, Rachael and Guy Fieri were team captains in the Food Network reality series Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off.[21]


In 2003, Ray posed for the men's magazine FHM.[8] In a March 2009 interview with Nightline, Ray defended her decision to pose in the magazine.[22]

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 show.[23]

Product endorsements

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.[24] 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.[25]

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.[26] As part of a promotional campaign, Ray describes the company's coffee as "fantabulous."[27]

In May 2007, Ray's recipes were made available on AT&T cellular phones via the "Rachael Ray Recipes on the Run" feature.[28]

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 founded by Ray to help at-risk animals.[29]

Personal life

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.[30][31]

Charity work

In 2006, Rachael Ray launched a nonprofit organization called Yum-O! 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”.[32][33]



  • 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)

Awards and recognition

Emmy Awards and nominations

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


  1. "Rachael Ray - Forbes". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-01-08.
  2. http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2007/10/rachaelray200710
  3. http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/inspirational-stories/interviews/a18866/rachael-ray-biography/
  4. 1 2 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.
  5. Hiltbrand, David (October 22, 2006). "One fast foodie". Charlotte Observer.
  6. Jacobs, Laura (September 11, 2007). "Just Say Yum-O!". vanityfair.com. Archived from the original on September 29, 2009. Retrieved October 4, 2009.
  7. 1 2 3 Severson, Kim (October 19, 2005). "Being Rachael Ray: How Cool Is That?". The New York Times. Retrieved August 4, 2005.
  8. Pellettieri, Jill Hunter (July 13, 2005). "Rachael Ray – Why food snobs should stop picking on her". Slate Magazine. Retrieved January 15, 2007.
  9. Keeps, David (May 28, 2010). "Rachael Ray's Rules for a Delicious Life". Good Housekeeping. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  10. "Rachael-isms (from Every Day with Rachael Ray)". RachaelRayMag.com. November–December 2005. Retrieved November 25, 2009.
  11. Food Network humor
  12. "Adding a Little E-V-O-O...to the Dictionary!". RachaelRayShow.com. December 5, 2006. Retrieved March 2, 2007.
  13. Stacy Jenel Smith. From Rachael Ray to Mary J., Celebrity Word-Making, an EVOO Trend. Netscape.com. Accessed November 24, 2009.
  14. "30 Minute Meals Episode List". IMDB. Amazon. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  15. Barnes, Brooks (September 21, 2006). "TV Syndication's Ray of Hope?". The Wall Street Journal.
  16. Benson, Jim (December 4, 2005). "King World OKs Production on Ray". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved January 15, 2007.
  17. ABC News: Rachael Ray Has New Food Network Series
  18. Rachael's Vacation with Rachael Ray
  19. ""Viva Daisy!" Rachael Ray, Daisy Martinez Cooking Up New Latino Food Show". Huffington Post. January 8, 2009.
  20. Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off: New Show Premieres This Winter
  21. Shea, Danny (March 2, 2009). "Rachael Ray Defends FHM Shoot: "I'd Do It Again Tomorrow" (PHOTOS, VIDEO)". Huffington Post.
  22. Meredith to Acquire Every Day with Rachael Ray, PR Newswire, October 12, 2011
  23. "Rachael Ray Debuts at WestPoint". Home Textiles Today. February 2007. Retrieved September 5, 2007.
  24. "WestPoint helps Rachael Ray mop up". Home Textiles Today. August 9, 2007. Archived from the original on October 15, 2007. Retrieved September 5, 2007.
  25. Reidy, Chris (March 9, 2007). "The new face of Dunkin' Donuts". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 5, 2007.
  26. Sprague, Tibet. "A (Rachael) Ray to light up the jewelry district". Providence Daily Dose.com. Retrieved October 7, 2008.
  27. "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.
  28. "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.
  29. 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.
  30. Hill, Michael (January 27, 2006). "Rachael Ray expands her reach". Archived from the original on August 11, 2014. Retrieved January 15, 2007.
  31. "Rachel Ray's Yum-o". Archived from the original on July 1, 2010.
  32. 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.
  33. Batali, Mario (April 30, 2006). "Rachael Ray". Time Magazine. Retrieved January 15, 2007.
  34. "#79 Rachael Ray – The 2009 Celebrity 100". Forbes. June 3, 2009.
  35. "Rachael Takes the Ride of Fame". May 25, 2010. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
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