Rachael Domenica Ray (born August 25, 1968 on 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) 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.
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. She 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 managed Mister Brown's Pub 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.
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 often uses recipes that include her Italian, French, and American heritage. 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." 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." [Source: Wikipedia]