Rachael Domenica Ray is an American celebrity cook, best selling cookbook author, a business women and a TV personality. She has worked in almost every profile related to food industry throughout her career. Out of her passion for food, she has built an entire food empire. Cooking is the way of life she is simply born into. Her cooking style is quick & easy. Her philosophy in life is – finding simple solutions to everyday problems. She favors approximations instead of exact measurements while cooking. She has created thousands of new recipes & continues to come up with new ones every day. She has pioneered ‘30 minute meal concept’ and has written many cookbooks based on it. She is the editor-in-chief of her lifestyle magazine. She hosts syndicated talk shows and lifestyle programs on American TV network. She is credited for taking Americans back to the kitchen and for changing the way they eat. Whether the person is a seasoned cook or simply hungry, a parent, curious to learn more or just looking to get inspired, she has created recipes for everyone to suite everyone’s’ taste and style.
Childhood & Early Life
Rachael Ray was born in Glen Falls, New York on 25th August 1968. However, she spent her childhood in Lake Gorge, New York.
Her family was in restaurant business. As a child she was exposed to various cooking techniques, styles of cooking and cuisines. Hence love for food came naturally to Rachael.
In 1995, she moved to New York City and started working at Macy’s on the candy counter. She moved on to manage fresh foods department at Macy’s. She worked there for around two years.
After Macy's, she helped open a gourmet market place in New York, ‘Agata & Valentina’. She worked on the project as a store manager and a buyer.
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After starting her career at Macy’s, Rachael moved back to New York upstate to manage pubs & restaurants at Sagamore resorts on Lake George. Thereafter, she was recruited by Cowan & Lobel in Albany to be their food buyer & later a ‘chef’.
In 2005, she launched new life style magazine ‘Every Day with Rachael Ray’. She works as the ‘editor in chief’ of this magazine. Though focused on great food, this magazine covers more than food, food destinations and entertainment.
During 2006, she became the spokesperson for Nabisco products. Her recipes were printed on the boxes of these products.
In 2007, she launched a one hour, syndicated television show ‘Rachael Ray’. It was one of the top ranked daytime TV show. During her shows, she has coined catchy phrases such as ‘EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil’, which went viral.
The same year, ‘WestPoint Home’ launched sheets, blankets and kitchen apparels designed by Rachael. Later, she added bed and bath line to these products. She also rolled out kitchen utensils and cutlery brand.
She also endorsed ‘Dunkin Donuts’ coffee brand in 2007. The same year, she signed a deal with AT&T to provide ‘Recipes on the Run’ to wireless subscribers.
In 2008, her television series ‘Rachael’s Vacation’ aired on Foods Network. This show was about five part food travelogue shot in various European countries.
In 2008, she became executive producer of a Latin cooking show ‘Viva Daisy’. However, this program was short lived
The praise which her show received made her go for a syndication sequel. In 2010 she launched this sequel.
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In 2012, she participated in a celebrity cook off reality show ‘Rachael vs Guy’.
As a way to increase grocery sale during holidays, Rachael started a series of cooking classes ’30 minutes Mediterranean Meal’. This show really got lot of popularity & The CBS station in Albany-Schenectady; WRGB-TV signed her on to do a weekly "30-Minute Meals" segment for the evening news. This show was a huge hit & was nominated for two regional Emmy in its first year. Rachael never looked back after this show
Rachael turned this ’30 minutes meal’ concept in to a best-selling series of cookbook including 30-Minute Meals, Comfort Foods, Veggie Meals, The Open House Cookbook, Cooking Round The Clock, Cooking Rocks!, 30-Minute Meals for Kids, Rachael Ray, Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners, Express Lane Meals, 2-4-6-8: Great Meals for Couples or Crowds, Just in Time: All-New 30-Minute Meal, plus Super-Fast 15-Minute Meals and Slow It Down 60-Minute Meals. Rachael’s cookbooks have appeared in New York Times bestsellers list in the first month of their sale.
Awards & Achievements
In 2006, Rachael’s ‘30 minutes meal’ show received Emmy award for ‘Outstanding Service Show’. Her television shows have won three ‘Daytime Emmy Awards’.
In 2007, ‘Every Day with Rachael Ray’ was named ‘Launch of the year’ by Advertising Age & by Advertising Week.
In 2008, ‘Rachael Ray’ won Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Entertainment.
She received ‘Favorite TV Chef’ People’s choice award in 2011.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 2005, Rachael got married to a lawyer, John Cusimano, in Italy. He is a lead singer of rock band ‘The Cringe’. She owns homes in Lake Luzerne, New York, and Manhattan's Greenwich Village.
She spends most of her free time at her cabin in the Adirondacks with her husband & her beloved pit bull Isaboo.
In 2007, she has launched a nonprofit organization, Yum-o!. This organisation empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking. Yum-o! works in three areas - educating kids and their families about cooking, feeding hungry American kids and funding cooking education and scholarships.
She also has rolled out a line of dog food ‘Nutrish’. The money raised out of this is given to charity to rescue at-risk animals.
Rachael is considered as one of the 15 wealthiest celebrity chefs in the world. Her latest six cookbooks have hit ‘New York Times Bestsellers’ stand. Rachael’s net worth is estimated to be $60 million.
Though she has created a food empire, she considers her life as a total accident since she never planned her course of new projects.