Powerful Women: Rachael Ray
Who in the world has time to be a chef, an author, host of a syndicated talk show and three additional separate television shows? Rachael Ray does. Regardless of what many may say about her, the woman has her plate full, and is certainly doing something right.
Rachael Ray was born in Glens Falls, New York to parents of Italian and French, Scottish and Welsh decent. Growing up, Rachael’s parents owned multiple restaurants. Food was everywhere, and it would follow her into her adult career.
After moving to New York City in 1995, Ray took up a job at the candy counter at Macy’s, moving up to managing the fresh foods department. Her food related career positions have included opening a New York City market, managing a pub, becoming a buyer at a gourmet market, where she credits the concept of her now famous 30 Minute Meals television show.
While working as a buyer, Ray encountered many people who were reluctant to cook, due to the time and effort needed to prepare meals. She began teaching courses showing how to create meals in 30 minutes or less. The class was so successful that the local CBS TV affiliate asked her to appear on weekly news segments. This ultimately left to her first Food Network contract in 2001.
Her show was an instant success, sparking huge views and creating a lifestyle. From the show came cook books, a syndicated daytime TV talk show (Ray signed a deal with Oprah Winfrey for the show), a show on the cooking channel, multiple TV appearances, a guest cook on Iron Chef America and a reality TV series, Rachael vs., Guy: Celebrity Cook Off.
In 2005, Rachael launched a magazine, which features content similar to that on her TV shows. She holds multiple product endorsements and continues to brand her name and expand her business.
What I love about Rachael Ray? She has no formal culinary training. Or any training for that matter. She has been quoted in saying “I have no formal anything. I’m completely unqualified for any job I’ve ever had.” She simply pursued something she enjoyed, for fun, and turned it into an empire. If that’s not an inspiring story, I don’t know what is.
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