Rachael Ray Undressed
Rachael Domenica Ray (born August 25, 1968 in Cape Cod, Massachusetts) is an Emmy-winning television personality and author who currently hosts the syndicated series Rachael Ray. In addition, she currently hosts (either in first-run or reruns) at least four different programs on cable television's Food Network (30 Minute Meals, $40 a Day, Inside Dish, and Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels), and has authored a series of cookbooks based on the 30 Minute Meals concept. On her television programs, she has introduced catchphrases such as "E.V.O.O." (extra-virgin olive oil), "Yum-O!", "So delish!", "G.B." (garbage bowl)", Spoonula, Stoup (Cross between a soup and stew, even though "stoup" is already a real word that means "the holy water receptacle at the front of a church".) and "How good is THAT?" She often refers to sandwiches as "sammies".
Ray's family is Italian-American on her mother's side and French-American on her father's side. Her family owned a restaurant in Massachusetts, while her mother managed restaurants in upstate New York. Rachel grew up in Lake George, New York, and her first job was at the candy counter at Macy's in New York City. She helped open Agata & Valentina, a New York City market. Moving back to upstate New York, she started managing pubs and restaurants at the famed Sagamore Resort on Lake George. From there, she became a buyer and chef at the Cowan & Lobel market in Albany, New York. Ray credits the concept of 30 Minute Meals to her experience working at a gourmet food store where people were reluctant to cook. She began teaching a cooking course showing people how to make meals in thirty minutes or less. With the success of her "30 Minute Meals" classes, Schenectady, New York TV station WRGB, the local CBS affiliate, asked her to continue on their newscasts. This, along with a public radio appearance and the publication of her first book, led to a Today Show spot and her first Food Network contract. She also appeared in a few commercials for Schenectady-based grocery chain Price Chopper, which stocks all her books at their stores and retains her as an occasional spokesperson.
Ray teaches simple recipes that she claims can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. Like many cooks, she uses garlic and chicken stock as simple ways to boost flavors. She emphasizes using fresh herbs whenever possible. She states that measuring "takes away from the creative, hands-on process of cooking" and instead favors approximations such as "half a palmful" and "eyeball it".
She claims to dislike baking desserts and to be notorious for burning bread under the broiler. Ray says her Sicilian maternal grandfather, Emmanuel Scuderi, served as a strong influence on her cooking. To critics of her shortcut techniques, Ray responds, "I have no formal anything. I'm completely unqualified for any job I've ever had."