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Rachael Ray

TV Personality

Born: 25 August 1968
Birthplace: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Best known as: Peppy host of TV's 30 Minute Meals
Rachael Ray is the ultra-peppy hostess whose 30 Minute Meals program on the Food Network made her one of the best-known cooks on TV. A background in restaurants and grocery stores earned Ray a job selling gourmet goods and teaching cooking classes in Albany, New York. Her specialty was putting meals together in a hurry, and in 1998 she published her first cookbook on making 30 Minute Meals. The success of the book led to a gig on local television, and by 2001 Ray had signed on for a national show with the Food Network. A former high school cheerleader, Ray is a bubbly chatterbox whose middlebrow cooking incorporates packaged, prepared foods and other short-cuts; she is sometimes called "the anti-Martha Stewart," an insult from critics embraced as a compliment by fans. Her other shows on the Food Network include the travel-for-cheap program $40 a Day, the cooking-with-celebrities show Inside Dish and Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels. Her 30 Minute Meals series of books have sold millions of copies, and in 2005 she launched a magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray. In addition to her Food Network duties, she started her own syndicated daytime talk show in 2006.
Extra credit: Ray is known for coining cutesy terms in the kitchen, including "sammies" for sandwiches and "EVOO" for extra virgin olive oil... She raised eyebrows in 2003 with a lingerie photo spread in the men's magazine FHM... Like Dr. Phil, Ray got a leg up in the talk show business from Oprah Winfrey's production company.

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