A far cry from Julia Child and her ilk, this perky chef was born into a food-industry family. After a few years in the New York City rat race, she moved upstate to become the buyer and chef for a gourmet market in Albany. As a bonus for shoppers, Ray began teaching in-store, 30-minute meal classes. The classes proved so popular that they spawned a Food Network TV series of the same name and launched Ray's hosting career. In 2005, she married rock singer John Cusimano and started another Food Network series, Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels
, as well as a magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray. The following year, Ray added a Daytime Emmy-winning talk show to her growing media empire. Ray also finds time to appear on the rare show she isn't hosting, guesting on Sesame Street
, competing on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
and showing up on the CBS hidden-camera special I Get That a Lot
.Rachael Ray Fast Facts:
- Started her culinary career at Macy's Marketplace in New York, first at the candy counter and then as manager of the fresh foods department.
- Helped to open Agata & Valentina, a prestigious New York gourmet marketplace, where she was the store manager and buyer.
- Launched a line of dog food and treats, Rachael Ray Nutrish, in 2008, with all proceeds going to her animal charity, Rachael's Rescue.
- Appeared on FHM magazine's list of the 100 Sexiest Women in 2004, 2006 and 2009.
- Has published numerous cookbooks based on her 30-minute meals concept.
- Rachael Ray Relationships:
- Emmanuel - Brother
- James Ray - Father
- John Cusimano - Husband
- Maria - Sister
- Elsa Scuderi - Mother
- Rachael Ray Awards:
- 2011 People's Choice Awards: Favorite TV Chef - Winner