I can remember watching a few cooking shows as I grew up, but I wasn’t terribly interested in most of them. Cable television was something I finally got following my divorce, and this particular chef’s shows was one of the first cooking programs I discovered (my mom told me about her prime time talk show, but I didn’t really know who she was). On this date in 1968 (the same year my brother was born), Rachael Ray was born. A New York native of Sicilian, French, Scottish, and Welsh descent, she grew up in the restaurant business. Her first Food Network spot occurred in 2001, and due to a “30-minute meal” class she taught, she got a contract for a show that dealt with this particular topic. Due to that success, other shows were spawned, and she became a Food Network icon. In 2005, she signed a deal with Oprah Winfrey for a daytime talk show. On Septmeber 24, 2005, she married John Cusimano. In July 2008, her line of dog food was launched, and all proceeds from that product go to Rachael’s Rescue, a charity to help at-risk animals. She remains one of my favorite chefs on television. On a side note, I used to misspell her first name on a regular basis.
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