Coming from humble beginnings working at Macy’s, Rachael Ray has successfully established herself as a celebrity cook and an Emmy-winning TV personality with at least three Food Network shows to her name. An author of various cookbooks, she is also a businesswoman.
Rachael Ray Biography
Rachael Domenica Ray was born on August 25, 1968, in Glens Falls, New York to Elsa Providenza Scuderi and James Claude Ray. From her father’s side, Ray has French, Scottish and Welsh roots while on her mother’s side, she is of Italian descent. She has a brother named Emmanuel and a sister named Maria Betar.
When she turned 8 years old, her family relocated to Lake George, New York where she attended Lake George High School. She was a cheerleader in high school and in 1986, she graduated.
As a kid, Rachael spent a lot of time in the kitchen, this was due to the fact that her mom owned and operated a number of restaurants in upstate New York. Instead of hiring a babysitter to watch after her kids while she was out running her food biz, Elsa brought them to the restaurants where they got involved in chores. This experience would influence Rachael to delve into the food business herself.
After graduating from high school, Rachael attended Pace University near New York City. However, just two years into her schooling, she dropped out and relocated to New York where she started working at Macy’s Marketplace candy counter. Following an attempt by Macy’s to change her job role to a lesser one, she switched boats to specialty foods store, Agata & Valentina also in New York.
While working that job, Rachael was robbed twice outside of her Queens apartment. As a result, she left New York and moved to a nearby town called Albany. However, in the end, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. In Albany, Rachel worked with a gourmet store where she quickly became popular for her 30 minutes meals which she taught to her co-workers who were lazy to cook.
These 30 minutes meals recipe attracted the attention of the local media which would lead to Rachael’s appearance on Today Show where she was spotted by the Food Network who signed her to a contract in 2001 to start her own show. The rest, as they say, it is history.
Rachael Ray’s success in the food business has been an exponential one. Her first Food Network shows 30 Minute Meals ran successfully for 11 seasons from 2001 to 2011. Rachael’s success had seen her appear on a number of TV shows, notably The Oprah Winfrey Show.
By 2005, she had branched out into other things. In addition to launching her own eponymous talk show which premiered on September 18, 2006 (and has been running since), Rachael welcomed a number of endorsement partners among them Nabisco crackers and Dunkin’ Donuts.
She signed a licensing deal with WestPoint Home which released her line of bedding and bathroom products. Her magazine Every Day with Rachael Ray was launched by The Reader’s Digest Association in October 2005. Fast forward to October 2011, the magazine was acquired by Meredith Corporation.
Inspired by recipes she created for her own pitbull Isaboo, Ray began a dog food product Nutrish, in July 2008. Rachael designs her own line of furniture in collaboration with PulteGroup.
Rachael’s other TV shows would come to include Rachael’s Vacation, Viva Daisy!, $40 a Day, and Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off. All of these endeavors and more can make Rachael as much as $15 million annually. Her net worth is a whopping $80 million. Some of that wealth is tied up in the three real estate properties she owns across the nation.
Rachel Ray is married to John M. Cusimano and has been since 2005. They met a mutual friend’s birthday party, Ray revealed in her 2014 interview with AOL. Cusimano is a musician as well as a lawyer. He earned his Juris Doctor in 1994 from Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He is the lead singer, and guitarist for the New York-based independent rock band, The Cringe.
With over 200,000 Twitter followers, the rock band boasts quite the following for an independent band.
As with most celebrity couples, Ray and Cusimano have been plagued by divorce rumors a part of which began swirling in 2013 after reports surfaced that Cusamino was spotted at a Swingers club without his Mrs. Ray labeled the rumors as false.
The couple renewed their wedding vows in 2015 at an elaborate party in Italy where they flew in about 100 guests. The event also marked their 10th anniversary and it was held at Tuscan castle where they originally tied the knot.
Other Facts About Rachael Ray
In addition to being a cheerleader in high school, Rachael was also in the girl’s scout. However, she was kicked out for three reasons; including making up dirty lyrics about a girl’s scout song.
Ray’s trademark raspy voice was caused by an illness called croup which she suffered as a toddler.
While she has made millions from cooking, Ray isn’t a certified chef and has frequently pointed out the fact that she has no formal culinary training.
She might be a great cook but that doesn’t mean Ray aces all she does in the Kitchen. She is bad at toasting bread and brewing coffee.
Rachel gives back via her Yum-O! a nonprofit organization founded in 2006.
She stands at 5 feet 3 inches tall.