Spotlight on World Famous Chefs: Rachael Ray, The Can-Do Chef

by Olivia Tacelli
CulinaryEd Columnist
February 8, 2011

The Rachael Ray WayRachael Ray is like a good down-to-earth foodie friend, but with all the fame and fortune of a Hollywood icon. Her relaxed charisma and buoyant enthusiasm have made her a hugely successful syndicated television star, as well as best-selling author of a dozen cookbooks and founder of the Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine. Despite this, Ray modestly describes her life as a "happy accident."

Rachael Ray: Born to Cook

Submerged in cooking and restaurant work through her family from birth, Ray saw virtually all aspects of food service by the age of 20. After moving to upstate New York from Cape Cod, Ray ventured to New York City, where working as food manager at Macy's, then store manager and buyer at Agata and Valentina, developed her knowledge of gourmet foods.

Unswayed by the glamour of the urban culinary arts life, she moved back upstate and became the chef at a gourmet market, Cowan & Lobel. To increase sales, Ray taught her 30-Minute Mediterranean Meals classes. The classes were so popular that the CBS Albany TV station decided to air them. Two regional Emmy's and 10,000 local book sales later, Ray's career had taken off.

On Her Way to the World Famous Chefs' Club

Since then, Ray's reputation as a bright, creative and high-energy chef with enormous charm and a remarkably accessible personality continues to earn Emmy awards and high praise from the likes of Forbes, Time, and Newsweek Magazines. For Rach, as she's affectionately referred to, it's all about being someone her audience can relate to, as in, "If Rachael Ray can do it, then so can I." H
er can-do popularity lies not only in her food and recipes, but in her relatable media portrayals, which show her "messes as well as her successes."

In addition to feeding hungry children in American, her organization Yum-O! teaches families about cooking and donates money for cooking education. Somehow in the midst of her full-boil life, Ray cooks dinner every night for her husband John, who "will eat anything I put in front of him." With no plans on taking it easy any time soon, Ray's philosophy on having a very full life is: "You can slow down when you're dead."


About the Author

Olivia Tacelli is a freelance writer specializing in all things culinary. She has been a chef and caterer for 18 years, and has run her own whole foods cooking business, The Olive Tree, for 8 years.

Culinary Art Schools
Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Showing schools in your area

            Matching School Ads
            Associate of Science in Culinary Arts
            • See how Keiser University can transform your love of cooking into culinary greatness
            • Keiser’s Center for Culinary Arts is accredited by the American Culinary Federation
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic prep, & hands-on experience
            • A World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) Quality Culinary Education program
            • Ranked #42 in 2018 Best Value Schools in U.S. News & World Report
            • Online Courses
            Professional Culinary Arts
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            Culinary Arts
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            B.S. in Hospitality Management
            • Do you have entrepreneurial visions to advance your career in the business world? Learn about the options available at GCU.
            • Earn a competitive bachelor's or master's degree in the areas of business administration, business analytics, accounting, marketing and more.
            • Many of our business degrees have attained elite accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP).
            • GCU nurtures the startup spirit, propelling your entrepreneurial visions on a powerful platform with opportunities to help you thrive.
            • Pursue a next-generation education with an online program or join Grand Canyon University's vibrant and growing campus community in beautiful Phoenix, Arizona.
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Hotel & Restaurant Management
            • A private, accredited distance learning college based in Norcross, Georgia founded in 1987.
            • Ensures that service members, their spouses and veterans can maximize their military education benefits.
            • Gives students the option to customize monthly payments to fit their budgets and lifestyle.
            • Offers all-inclusive tuition: textbooks, learning materials, and academic support are covered in the cost.
            • Allows alumni to enroll in any future program at a reduced rate.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Search Schools Near You
            Subject :
            Degree :
            Zip Code :
            Culinary Articles
            10 Colleges with Delicious Dining Hall Food
            Forget boring college cafeteria dining: campus food can be both healthy and delicious. Here's a look at 10 colleges where you might actually enjoy getting your grub on.
            Four International Cuisines Influencing the American Foodscape
            Ethnic cuisines are an integral part of America's culinary landscape, and none more so than these perennial favorites.
            5 Ethnic Cuisines for Serious Foodies
            Love food? Want to broaden your culinary horizons? These five international cuisines might be an excellent starting place.
            Healthy home cooked meals can improve health, longevity and family social community
            Read how cooking at home rather than eating out can help you live longer, reduce the risk of cancer and improve family dynamics. Not only has cooking at home become the hip choice, it's also become the smart choice.