Rachael Ray was interviewed by a reporter from the LA Daily News, who said that Rachael is the "vivacious, energetic, successful 39-year-old is a household name." I was pleased to see that a reporter might actually get it - she said that Rachael's "can-do approach is a big factor" in her success.
Here are a few highlights from the Q and A session:
Q Tell us about your crazy schedule these days.
A We shoot the equivalent of three one-hour episodes a day of “Rachel Ray” (in New York). I’m up at 7 a.m. and get home around 7 p.m. It’s a long day but a lot of fun. When I’m on hiatus, we shoot “30 Minute Meals” and “Tasty Travels.” We do out 285 shows/episodes a year between the three. While I’m on the road, I send pages (of the magazine) back and forth with comments — and I write columns and recipes on the computer whenever I have time. Everything I do for a living is what I’d do on a day off for a normal job.
Q Where is your base?
A I live in the country. My home is in Lake Luzerne, N.Y., and I have a place in Manhattan.
Q What do you like best — your talk show, Food Network shows, magazine, cookbooks, traveling?
A I love them all. I love to travel, I love “30 Minute Meals” because that’s my baby and I love the “Rachael Ray” show because it has an audience.
Q How do you have time to spend with your husband and family?
A I make time. I go home every night and (my husband, John, and I) make dinner together. I talk to my mother every day on the phone and see her when I go upstate.
Q Do you have a staff that helps you develop recipes?
A Never. I write every single one of the recipes and test (each) by making it on air. I have hundreds of opportunities to cook on air. It’s easy to write my food in my head. I (also) write recipes before I send them over to the magazine. The magazine tests everybody’s recipes.
Q Are you concerned with doing calorie-conscious recipes?
A I could care less. If you eat well, you don’t have to count calories.
Q What is your take on quality, seasonal, local ingredients?
A I think it’s terrific that grocery stores are supporting that and bringing in organic and locally grown products. I’d like to see prices lowered on fresh foods.
Q What is your philosophy of cooking and presentation?
A I don’t use any sort of garnish that isn’t an edible (part) of the dish. Look for the food to be as pleasing to the eye as it is for the stomach. Taste is most important. I try to make people find their own happy zone for spices, etc. Develop your palate so a recipe becomes your own. I like heavy spices and herbs — and everything that I eat to have a lot of flavor. I use free-hand equivalents — and I also write that way, instead of spoons.
Photo from Worcester Telegram.