Rachael Ray has 50 reasons to celebrate today as she releases her 26th cookbook, Rachael Ray 50: Memories and Meals from a Sweet and Savory Life. Including personal essays, snapshots of her first 50 years of life, recipes, and hand-drawn illustrations created by the TV host herself, this book gives fans a glimpse into some of her most memorable moments.
We spoke with Rachael prior to her book release where she shared if she ever feels like she’s running out of recipes to share, her feelings on opening her own restaurant, and whether or not she’s a pumpkin spice fan.
SheKnows: Congratulations on your new book! Readers get both a cookbook and an inside look at your life. What made you want to open up and share these memories with readers?
Rachael Ray: “To me, it is a look at the awkward and happy moments of my life. It’s like a scrapbook really. And the interesting part of looking back at 50 years is having the hope that you get another 50.”
SK: The book centers around your passion for the love of cooking as you reflected on turning 50. How did you discover your passion for cooking?
RR: “I really had no choice. I grew up in kitchens, industrial and in-home. That’s the only room I really remember anything about in my whole life. I guess kitchens are my happy place.”
SK: You’ve authored more than 25 books. Do you ever feel like you’re running out of recipes to share?
RR: “No, not at all. Every week I have to write nine to 15 new meals a week – whether it’s for the daytime show, my magazine, or for a special project. Writing about food and creating new meals is just what I do. It is the job.”
SK: Is there a recipe you won’t share with the public that you want to keep a secret?
RR: “Absolutely not. My audiences are the boss of me. I always say I am a waitress serving my viewers, readers, etc. “
SK: You even include original hand-drawn illustrations in this book. Is this something you’d like to do more of?
RR: “I’ve always liked to doodle and draw, so yeah, of course. It’s always something that I found very relaxing.”
SK: If you could invite any celebrity over for dinner, whom would you want to cook for?
RR: “I know a lot of celebrities that are lovely people and I enjoy the idea of them in my home. But, if I could have anybody over for supper, I’d bring back my grandfather or my first dog.”
SK: You also have your hands full with the 14th season of Rachael. Is there someone you haven’t had on the show that you’d love to have on.
RR: “Many. But, what surprises me most, are the people we have on the show and meet that aren’t famous. So many of our viewers surprise me and inspire me. That’s what I like about our show. Every day is different. You just never know what you’re going to get.”
SK: As for the future, can fans expect a Rachael Ray restaurant?
RR: “I’ve been trying for years and I sort of moved along mentally. But, we’re doing this cool thing with Uber Eats starting October 17, where people can actually order my food in 13 different cities across the country and have it delivered straight to their door. New York, Austin, Portland, Miami, Chattanooga, and a bunch of others. We are offering more than 10 recipes to order, some straight out of the new book, and other recipes that have been popular with fans over the years. Dishes like Buffalo Chicken Chili, Fettuccine alla Vodka, Tahini Caesar Salad and Garlic Ricotta Cauliflower Mash. So, that’s pretty exciting.”
SK: Finally, what are your thoughts on pumpkin spice? Are you a fan?
RR: “I love cooking with pumpkin. I often add spices to pumpkin. But no, I’ve never purchased pumpkin spice.”
This interview has been edited for style and length.
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