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Bio Brief: Rachael Ray


Rachael Ray
Michael Buckner / WireImage / Getty Images

Rachael Ray was Born:

... August 25, 1968, in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to parents of French and Italian descent.

Growing up with Rachael:

Rachael grew up as a true New Englander. Born in Massachusetts, she's also lived in New York and the region. Her mother managed restaurants in upstate New York and her family owned a restaurant in Massachusetts.

Rachael's First Job:

Rachael was a Macy's girl, accepting a position behind the candy counter at the famous retailer. Success there put her in place to help open and operate Agata & Valentia, a gourmet foods markets in New York City.

The Early Years:

While working at the market, Rachael noticed a trend: shoppers were busy nine-to-fivers who did not have time or energy to make elaborate meals. So Rachael started offering advice and sharing recipes and ideas for meals that could be cooked in 30 minutes or so.

The off-the-cuff ideas turned into structured classes -- and those classes caught the eye of a Schenectady, New York, news producer. The producer convinced Rachael to do a segment on the local news cast sharing that advice with viewers.

That led a regular guest spot on The Today Show -- which in turn led to her first contract with the Food Network. And everything else, as they say, took off from there.

Becoming a Talk Show Host:

Perhaps it was simply a matter of time. Rachael's success with 30 Minute Meals led to several other Food Network programs, including $40 Dollars a Day and Inside Dish with Rachael Ray. Inside Dish ostensibly was a talk show centered around the cooking, as Rachael visited with and interviewed celebrities as they cooked their favorite meal.

Perhaps this was the impetus for her turn as a full-fledged talk show host. But whatever the reason -- mass appeal perhaps, is another thought -- Rachael has made the leap and The Rachael Ray Show now competes among half-a-dozen or more daytime programs.

Key Moment in her Career:

It has to be saying yes to the news producer from Schenectady. Had Rachael passed on that opportunity, she may still be teaching classes at the NYC market, making far less than the purported $6 million paycheck she currently takes home.

What Does the Future Hold?:

Rachael will continue hosting Food Network programs as well as overseeing the production of her successful magazine, 'Everyday with Rachael Ray'. Her career has grown steadily -- over a few years, rather than suddenly overnight -- which bodes well for her future success and widening appeal.

And Just For Fun:

  • Show is produced by Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions
  • Won the Outstanding Service Show Emmy in 2006 for 30 Minute Meals
  • Named one of 'Time' magazine's 'Most Influential People' in 2006
  • Lives in Lake Luzanne, New York, and Greenwich Village in Manhattan
  • Married to John Cusimano, a musician and lawyer
  • Has a dog named Isaboo
  • Was named on of the 100 Sexiest Woman 2006 by now defunct "FHM" magazine.

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