If you told me that it had been just five years since Rachael Ray brought her catchphrases like EVOO and "Yum-O" into the public consciousness, I'd probably believe it. On the flip side, if you told me that she'd been on TV measuring out palmfuls of ingredients for the past 25 years, I'd probably believe that too.
Ray has seemingly always been there, a good-natured, perpetually upbeat kitchen personality who makes you feel like you're capable of perfecting the same things that she spent half an hour working on; that's part of her charm, and part of what she's been criticized for. (Personally, that's why I love her).
In actuality, her 30 Minute Meals debuted on the Food Network almost 17 (!!!) years ago; her magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, appeared on newsstands 12 years ago; and it's even been a decade since she launched her own line of pet food. She's admittedly not the Big Name that she was a few years ago (I was admittedly surprised to learn that her talk show is still on television), but that doesn't mean she's slowed down, like, at all.
Ray was recently profiled in The New York Times, in an in-depth piece that attempted to answer the question "What's Next?" It's an entertaining portrait of someone who's always seemed to be 100% herself — her excitable, chatty, 'I need to tell you this thing, right now' self — even when the cameras were rolling. The entire thing is worth reading, but these were five of my fave takeaways.
5 Things We Learned from That New York Times Profile on Rachael Ray
1. Her pit bull, Isaboo, is pretty much her life: She once paid $80,000 to charter a private jet so that the pup could accompany her on a trip to Italy. In addition to her Nutrish line of pet food, she also has an animal foundation which has donated $27 million to a long list of causes, including $1 million each for hurricane relief in Houston and Puerto Rico, to a goat rehabilitation facility called Goats of Anarchy and a no-kill cat shelter "that her mother asked her to build."
2. Rachael Ray is the proud owner of an all-terrain vehicle, which Guy Fieri gave her: Apparently she takes her 84-year old mother for a spin in it all the time.
3. She has written 22 cookbooks, but her most recent one was published in 2012: She is currently working on a new book that is "neither a memoir nor a cookbook, but has elements of both." She's also obsessed with writing all of her ideas down, and admits that she always carries a tiny notebook in her purse, even when she's on the red carpet.
4. Every year during SXSW, she hosts an annual free concert called Feedback at Stubb's Bar-B-Q in Austin, Texas: This year's theme was hot dogs, and one of the musical guests was 90's throwback rappers Salt-N-Pepa (which is a thematically perfect group for a concert curated by a TV chef).
5. She doesn't read your messages on social media: Although she has more than 11 million followers spread across the big three social media platforms, she doesn't spend a lot of time reading her @-replies, and "it wasn't long ago" that she finally traded up from a flip phone. "I don't take in negative information online," she told the Times. "I just don't feel it's a constructive use of my time, and I have too much work to do."
Now that's an attitude we could all probably learn from.