The Improper recently interviewed Rachael Ray and touched on some interesting topics, including Rachael's response to the constant tabloid stories alleging that she's getting a divorce. Here are a few excerpts:
On how she and John make their marriage work:
“I work hard---we both work hard, but John and I place no demands on each other,” explains Ray, from her cabin in upstate New York. “We just like hanging out as much as we can. Otherwise, it is live and let live.”
On why she ended up cooking:
“I started as a dishwasher and food runner for weekend buffets in restaurants then worked up to fountain girl, prep cook, line cook, caterer, waitress then hostess. My mom ran restaurants for 40 years, and she liked to keep her kids with her so all three of us know how to work a restaurant!”
On her time at upscale grocer Agata & Valentina:
"'I did work hard,' she recalls. 'Then I went back to the Adirondacks and got employed as a buyer at a marketplace near my home.' When the chef was axed, she ended up in the kitchen running production. She also worked at the Sagamore on Lake George."
On the genesis of the 30 Minute Meal concept:
"Early on, she was trying to get her customers to buy more groceries. So Ray started teaching a small cooking class called '30 Minute Mediterranean Mealshow to make Italian dinners, fast.'
'The class became a segment-- on my local TV news, then a local book, and finally got a spot on the Food Network,' she says."
"'Oprah is a bright, strong, funny and brilliant woman! I am enjoying getting to know her--she’s a ball!,' exclaims Ray. 'Being associated with her name and company is a great compliment. The direction she gives me is to be true to myself and stay me--so I am not nervous about letting her or anyone else down. I know I am living up to her expectations!'"
On her own success:
“I think it is because my work is about accessibility--the can-do factor,” she says. “People like our shows because they are relatable and recognizable. Viewers can see themselves in every show, and they know they can go and cook what I cook, or travel like I travel.”
On her favorite recipes:
"Some of her favorite recipes include comfort food, vegetable meals, tuna and turkey cacciatore burgers and Rio Grande fritter cakes.
'I live on soups in the summer, and I like burgers and salads,' she says. 'Pasta is good year-round. As for quick meals, I have written 13 books full of them.'"
Photo from Every Day with Rachael Ray.