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Rachael Ray

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Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single

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Rachael Domenica Ray (born August 25, 1968 in Glens Falls, New York) is an Emmy-award winning television personality and author, who currently hosts the syndicated talk/lifestyle program Rachael Ray and two Food Network series, 30 Minute Meals and Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels. Ray has also written a series of cookbooks based on the 30 Minute Meals concept, and launched a magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, in 2005.

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 owns homes in Lake Luzerne, New York and Manhattan's Greenwich Village. On September 24, 2005 in Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy, Ray married John M. Cusimano, the lead singer of the band The Cringe.

Ray teaches simple recipes that she claims can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. She uses garlic and chicken stock as simple ways to boost flavors. She often uses recipes that include her Italian, French, and American heritage, and Ray emphasizes using fresh herbs whenever possible. She believes that measuring "takes away from the creative, hands-on process of cooking" and instead favors approximations such as "half a palmful" and "eyeball it." On her television programs she has used catchphrases such as "E.V.O.O. (extra-virgin olive oil)", "yum-o," "so delish," "G.B." (garbage bowl), "Oh my gravy!", "stoup" (cross between a soup and stew), and "how good is THAT?" She often refers to sandwiches as "sammies."

She states she cannot bake (because you have to measure ingredients), and is 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."

On November 12, 2006 Mario Batali and Rachael defeated the team of Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis on an episode of the program Iron Chef America which featured the use of cranberries as the secret ingredient.

For Sesame Street’s 38th season, Ray appears in an episode to present "pumpernickel" as the word of the day.

March 2007, Dunkin Donuts announced Ray is its new pitchwoman. Ray describes Dunkin Donuts' coffee as "fantabulous".

Some have criticized Ray's "perky" demeanor as well as her lack of a formal chef's education and perceived lack of seriousness about cooking. Celebrity chef and Travel Channel personality Anthony Bourdain, who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, has referred to her as a "bobblehead".

The 30 Minute Meals concept has also been criticized because Ray doesn't account for certain preparation times in the signature half-hour cooking time. Many of these preparations, such as pre-washing herbs and vegetables, are not meal-specific, and Ray counsels they should be done ahead of time. In the Slate article that otherwise mostly complimented her, author Pellettieri went through several of Ray's "30 Minute Meals" recipes and was unable to complete any meal in under half an hour.


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