Celebrity chef Rachael Ray was born into a family full of restaurant business owners on August 25, 1968. Her place of birth was Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and she was raised in Lake George, New York. She’s had many successes that put her as #38 on the top 100 list for the most influential people in health and fitness 2011. Some of these accomplishments include authoring many cookbooks, starring in a daytime talk show, and hosting shows on the Food Network.
Before making it big in the food industry, Ray held many restaurant jobs that helped her to work her way up the ladder. She was surrounded by family members who worked in the food industry influencing her to lead the same lifestyle. Her first word was even “vino” after hearing her grandfather say it all the time. Ray’s mother was the food supervisor for several Howard Johnson’s, which was how Ray actually became a waitress there herself. Another job she held was a candy manager at Macy’s Market Place in New York.
The start of her career took off while working in a gourmet food shop in Schenectady, New York. Ray developed the “30 Minute Meals” and taught the cooking classes which quickly became her signature after being picked up by a local television network. The meals had to be quick and easy to prepare and guaranteed to take no longer than 30 minutes to prep. The types of dishes ranged from comfort food to entertaining food, so no matter what the occasion is, Rachael Ray could provide many options to choose from.
Not only did these meals make it on a local television network, but they also led Ray down the path to her first book deal as well as a contract with the Food Network. The “30 Minute Meals” eventually became so popular that the Food Network decided to give Ray three more TV programs called Inside Dish, Rachael Ray’s Tasty Travels, and $40 a Day.
The years 2005 and 2006 were big for Ray as she married John Cusimano in 2005, released her own food and lifestyle magazine, “Every Day With Rachael Ray,” and premiered a self-titled TV talk show. This was right about the same time her first TV show, 30 Minute Meals, won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Service Show. Barely two years later, Ray won another Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Entertainment.
Also on her list of achievements is the non-profit organization “Yum-O!,” launched in 2006. The program is designed to help feed American children in need, and to educate young people and their families about the importance of good nutrition. The program offers an interactive website that enables kids to do things like learn family-friendly recipes by getting started in the kitchen at a young age. Yum-O’s three-word motto is “COOK – Educating Kids and their families about food and cooking, FEED – Feeding hungry American kids, FUND – Funding cooking education and scholarships.”
Ray has two homes with her husband in Luzerne, New York and Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. They spend most of their time at their lake-side cabin in Luzerne where Ray’s mother actually lives with them. Ray has one younger brother named Emmanuel and one older sister named Maria.
2001’s Comfort Foods
2003’s Get Togethers
2005’s Rachael Ray 365
Yum-O!: The Family Cookbook
Rachael Ray Nutrish Premium
Rachel Ray’s Big Orange Book
Book of 10
*Photos from www.foodnetwork.com and www.ohmygoshbeck.com