Rachael Domenica Ray is a TV cooking-show host born August 25, 1968 in Glens Falls, New York, best known for her show 30 Minute Meals on the Food Network, being one of the biggest draws for said network's male audience, and for her perky personality. She also hosts a Talk Show, which is syndicated by CBS.
It should be noted (and is constantly noted by actual professional chefs who overhear people getting this wrong) that she isn't a chef. She is, rather, a former sports-journalist who taught herself to cook; her cookbooks were ghost-written for her by actual chefs, and the recipes she uses on her show are likewise prepared for her by actual chefs. This should not be construed as taking anything away from Ms. Ray's charisma or her talent as a television host, or from her enthusiasm for and talent at cooking.
Shows she's hosted:
- 30 Minute Meals
- Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels
- $40 A Day
- Rachael Ray
- Rachael Ray's Week in a Day
This cooking show host displays examples of:
- Berserk Button: Not one of hers, but rather about her. Chefs really don't like it when people call her a chef. Because she isn't one. Also, any chef can name at least nine or ten mistakes she makes in every single episode of her shows, and the wrong lessons she's teaching novice chefs who watch her show for tips.
- Chef Thomas Keller, generally considered the greatest living American chef right now, has actually published an article entitled "Why Rachael Ray is a Danger to Home Cooks Everywhere". His list includes things like "She's constantly cross-contaminating her food by using the same utensil in three our four dishes" and "She uses the same cutting board to cut raw chicken as she does raw vegetables without cleaning it first."
- The fact that she uses "EVOO" in nearly everything, and has taught her fans to use it in nearly everything, is another Berserk Button for actual chefs. The truth is, real chefs don't use extra virgin olive oil in anything that isn't a marinade or a salad dressing, because it a) has a very mild flavor, and b) has a really low smoke point (220 degrees Farenheit). (The smoke point is the temperature at which the oil catches fire.) Rather, chefs use Virgin and Fine grade oils (and never anything lower than Fine) because they impart a flavor to the food and have a higher smoke point than Extra Virgin (Virgin is 338 degrees, while Fine is 418 degrees).
- ...But I Play One on TV: She's not actually a chef. Doesn't stop anyone from calling her one though, to the irritation of actual chefs.
- Though to be fair, she has never claimed to be a chef, and has called herself a cook many times. As said above, doesn't stop people who don't know the difference from calling her one.
- Cat Smile: But that great big toothy grin of hers is the real thing.
- Catchphrase: "Yummo!", "Delish", "EVOO" for extra virgin olive oil, and a few others.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: "Mmm, something".
- Department of Redundancy Department: Early in her TV career when she'd say "EVOO" she'd immediately follow it by saying extra virgin olive oil, thus making the use of the acronym completely redundant. However, the reason she was doing this was to help establish EVOO as a Catchphrase so people would know what she meant.
- Fully Automatic Clip Show: Her talk show staff made one about her discussing the costumes on Dancing with the Stars, usually calling them "tiny."
- Do Not Adjust Your Set: Used to promote an episode featuring Regis Philbin on WABC-TV, where Live! airs immediately before Rachael Ray.
- Genki Girl: Girl owns this trope!
- Hidden Depths: Her fandom of indie rock music is as surprising as NBC news anchor Brian Williams'. She hosted her own stage at the 2008 South by Southwest festival featuring artists she personally selected, and did it again in 2009 and 2010.
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: $40 a Day stopped airing in the U.S. in the 2010s, and isn't available on DVD.
- Lethal Chef:
- Her use of extra-virgin olive oil for frying. Extra-virgin oil has a low smoke point and will catch fire.
- Her use of a single cutting board for meat and vegetables, a major risk for cross-contamination.
- Milestone Celebration: Rachael's 1000th talk show had lots of surprises, and a giant, flashing 1000 on the set.
- Motor Mouth: Is she ever. Also see the note about her hatedom above.
- Ms. Fanservice: Yeah, it's perfectly normal for cooking show hosts to shake their hips on their way to the fridge.
- Actually, nowadays it is increasingly normal for cooking show hosts, for better or worse. That being said, Food Network pioneered this.
- Nice to the Waiter: In regards to $40 a Day, she's been accused of subverting this on occasion. Some fans have noted that she leaves rather skimpy tips in some of her episodes in order to make her self-imposed "budget".
- Refusal of the Call: She originally didn't think she was good enough to be on Food Network, saying "You're champagne, I'm beer." The executives assured her that they liked beer.
- Shopping Montage: Every episode of her Travelogue Shows has one. Every. Single. One.
- Trademark Favorite Food: In case you haven't figured it out yet, she really loves her "EVOO."
- Travelogue Show: Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels and $40 A Day
- Vocal Evolution: Her voice has gotten a lot raspier and her accent has deepened as she's gotten older.