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Name: Rachael Domenica Ray/
Birthdate: August 25, 1968
Place of birth: Glens Falls, N.Y
Where she grew up: Lake George, N.Y.
Background: Her Italian-American family originally came from Sicily, Italy

How her culinary career started:

At Macy's Marketplace in New York, first at the candy counter and then as the manager of the fresh foods department. After Macy's, Rachael helped to open Agata & Valentina, the prestigious New York gourmet marketplace, where she was the store manager and buyer.

Her current list of cookbooks:

30 Minute Meals (1999)
Comfort Foods (2001)
Veggie Meals (2001)
30-Minute Meals 2 (2003)
Get Togethers: Rachael Ray 30 Minute Meals (2003)
$40 a Day: Best Eats in Town (2004)
Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Meals: Cooking 'Round the Clock (2004)
Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Meals for Kids: Cooking Rocks! (2004)
Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Get Real Meals: Eat Healthy Without Going to Extremes (2005)
Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats: A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners (2005)
Rachael Ray's Express Lane Meals: What to Keep on Hand, What to Buy Fresh for the Easiest Ever 30 Minute Meals (2006)
Rachael Ray 2-4-6-8: Cooking for Couples or Crowds (2006)

The birth of the 30 Minute Meals concept:

While working at a food equipment store in Albany as a buyer and cook, Rachael began a series of cooking classes to increase grocery sales during the holidays. The 30 Minute Meals classes became so popular that the local media sent a feature reporter to cover the phenomenon, and the following week, an Albany TV station asked Rachael to do a weekly 30 Minute Meals segment for the evening news.

How she arrived at Food Network:

The same day a Today show producer saw her book and had her come on the show, a Food Network executive heard her on an upstate public radio show. 30 Minute Meals premiered on Food Network, November 17, 2001 at 11:30am. $40 A Day premiered April 24, 2002, followed by Inside Dish November 5, 2004 and Tasty Travels on August 26, 2005.

Her wedding day:

n September, 2005, Rachael flew about 100 friends to Tuscany to celebrate her marriage to John Cusimano.

Her magazine:

On October 19, 2005, her food and lifestyle magazine, Every Day With Rachael Ray, hit store shelves, followed a week later by her 11th book, 365: No Repeats, which offers a different dish for every day of the year.

Her dog's name:

Rachael Rayisms:

E.V.O.O. (extra-virgin olive oil), stoup (a cross between a stew and soup), yum-o, sammies (instead of sandwiches)

Rachael Ray

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