Ray, Rachael


Ray, Rachael
▪ 2007
 As the host of four successful shows on the cable television Food Network, editor in chief of the lifestyle magazine Every Day with Rachael Ray, and the best-selling author of more than a dozen cookbooks, American celebrity chef Rachael Ray already had a full plate when in April 2006 she introduced yet another book into her popular 30-Minute Meals series called Rachael Ray Express Lane Meals: What to Keep on Hand, What to Buy Fresh for the Easiest-Ever 30-Minute Meals. In recognition of her television work, Ray was also nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding service show host, and 30-Minute Meals won for outstanding service show.

      Rachael Domenica Ray was born on Aug. 25, 1968, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where she helped out in her family's restaurant. Before she was five years of age, Ray was already trying out her hand at being a chef, but unfortunately she grilled her thumb as she tried to flip something over with a spatula. Undaunted, she went on to pursue her culinary aspirations some 20 years later in New York City, where she started out behind Macy's candy counter before managing its fresh foods department. In two years she became store manager and buyer for famed New York gourmet marketplace Agata & Valentina before relocating to the Adirondack Mountains, where she managed the pubs and restaurants of Sagamore Resort on Lake George.

      It was at Albany's gourmet market Cowan & Lobel, where Ray served as buyer, however, that her career really took off. Combining her business savvy with her culinary skills, she offered cooking classes during the holidays in order to promote the market's sales. Her most popular offering, “30-Minute Mediterranean Meals,” gained the attention of the local media, and Albany's CBS affiliate station soon gave Ray a contract to produce a weekly cooking segment called “30-Minute Meals” for the nightly newscast. Ray's down-to-earth homespun charm, along with her quick and simple recipes that used easy-to-find prepackaged ingredients, caused the segment's popularity to soar, and in its first year it was nominated for two local Emmy Awards, in addition to spawning a companion cookbook, which sold more than 10,000 copies. This eventually led to Ray's huge presence on the Food Network as host of several cooking and lifestyle programs, including 30-Minute Meals, $40 a Day, Tasty Travels, and Inside Dish.

      By the close of 2006, Ray had served up even more recipes and helpful cooking tips in her newest book, Rachael Ray 2, 4, 6, 8: 30-Minute Meals for Couples or Crowds, and expanded her media empire beyond cooking by venturing into the talk-show circuit with the launch of her new syndicated program, Rachael Ray. Ray brought her usual bubbly enthusiasm to the series, which celebrated everyday victories and provided viewers with upbeat ideas on how to live a rich and rewarding life—empowered by Ray's signature can-do spirit.

Barbara A. Schreiber

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▪ American chef and television personality
in full  Rachael Domenica Ray Barbara A. Schreiber
born Aug. 25, 1968, Cape Cod, Mass., U.S.
 
 American chef and television personality, who promoted quick, easy-to-prepare meals through her television programs, lifestyle magazine, and extensive line of cookbooks.

      Ray had experience in the kitchen from a young age, helping out in her family's restaurants in Cape Cod. In her early 20s she pursued her culinary aspirations in New York City, where she started out behind Macy's candy counter before managing its fresh foods department. In two years she became store manager and buyer for New York gourmet marketplace Agata & Valentina before relocating to upstate New York. There she managed the pubs and restaurants of Sagamore Resort on Lake George.

      It was at Albany's gourmet market Cowan & Lobel, where she served as buyer, however, that Ray launched her television career. Combining her business acumen with her culinary skills, she offered cooking classes during the holidays in order to promote the market's sales. Her most popular offering, “30-Minute Mediterranean Meals,” gained the attention of the local media, and Albany's CBS affiliate station soon gave Ray a contract to produce a weekly cooking segment called “30-Minute Meals” for the nightly newscast. Ray's homespun demeanour—along with her quick and simple recipes, which used readily available prepackaged ingredients—proved to be an enormous success, and in its first year the segment was nominated for two local Emmy Awards, in addition to spawning a companion cookbook, which sold more than 10,000 copies.

      Her work in local television led Ray to be hired by the Food Network, a popular cable television station. There she hosted a number of well-received programs, including 30-Minute Meals, $40 a Day, Tasty Travels, and Inside Dish. Ray's success on the Food Network allowed her to develop an extensive media brand around her preparation of 30-minute meals. In 2005 Every Day with Rachael Ray, a lifestyle magazine with Ray serving as editor in chief, began publication. She was the best-selling author of more than a dozen books, including Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals (1998), Rachael Ray 365 No Repeats: A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners (2005), Rachael Ray Express Lane Meals: What to Keep on Hand, What to Buy Fresh for the Easiest-Ever 30-Minute Meals (2006), and Just in Time! (2007). In 2006 Ray expanded her media empire beyond cooking by venturing into the talk-show circuit with the launch of her new syndicated program, Rachael Ray.

Barbara A. Schreiber
 

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Universalium. 2010.

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