Rachael Ray definitely has severe critics in the high-brow culinary arts community, but it doesn't seem to have affected her career.
Born into a family of dedicated cooks and restaurateurs, Rachael Ray "grew up in food." Her culinary arts career officially began at the candy counter of Macy's Marketplace, where she quickly moved up to manager of fresh foods. She moved on to help set up Agata & Valentina, a happening NYC gourmet market, where she became both manager and buyer in short order.
Rachael moved to upstate New York to work in restaurant and pub management at Lake George's Sagamore Resort, where she was recruited as the buyer for a noted gourmet market. She parlayed that position into a chef job and cooking class host. The popularity of her culinary classes catapulted her career into Food Network stardom with her popular show, "30-Minute Meals."
Perpetually perky, Rachael tosses her fave expressions--"yum-O," "easy peasy," and "delish"--around her TV kitchen, using ingredients that are kid-friendly and found in any local supermarket. In her own defense, Rachael says it best, "Never be a food snob. Learn from everyone you meet--the fish guy at your market, the lady at the local diner, farmers, cheese makers. Ask questions, try everything and eat up!"
On Food Network's "$40 A Day," she also jets around the nation, showing viewers how to enjoy gourmet food on $40 a day. Recently, she broadened her culinary career horizons by taking the show to Rome.
Rachael Ray Magazine, published bi-monthly, gives culinary arts tips and advice and offers up her easy 30-minute meal recipes. Rachael has also been offered a daytime syndicated talk show, scheduled to debut in 2006, which will be produced by Oprah's production company.
In her spare time, Rachael has authored eleven cookbooks, with two more scheduled to be published in 2006. At one time, five of her culinary arts cookbooks were on the New York Times Best Seller list at the same time.
Name: Rachael Domenica Ray
Born: August 25, 1968
Hometown: Cape Cod, MA
Training: On the job
First Job: Candy counter at Macy's
Fun Fact: Provocatively posed in the kitchen for FHM (For Him Magazine)