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Fame & Fortune
Rachael Ray
Busy TV chef cooks up energetic schedule
Celebrity interview

Fame & Fortune: Rachael Ray
 

I love to have friends in, and when I'm upstate, I love walking through the woods with a dog and riding an ATV, just tooling around in the woods. Turtle-like. I like to eat, sleep and kind of lumber around.

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Bankrate: Do you treat yourself to many extravagances?

Rachael Ray: I certainly have more shoes than I did 15 years ago, but no, not so much. I like to spend a lot on the charity and developing that. We do things that we'd never been able to do, like we take our whole family with us every year on our anniversary to Italy. Everybody goes -- the brothers, the sisters, a handful of our friends. We do something crazy and huge like that that would certainly never have been in our budget.

But in our everyday life, I wear literally the same pants I've had for 10, 12 years. I still shop at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls and Target, and I do my own grocery shopping. I wander around in Adidas sweats and wear bluejeans most of the time.

So my everyday life is very much the same. But we can afford to share a lot with our family in ways we couldn't afford to do before, and we can do great fun things that are emotionally profitable for us, like starting the Yum-O! organization. So those are the real perks for me, the real benefits -- that you can treat your family nicely and provide for them, and do something like start up this organization of ours.

Bankrate: How much has Yum-O! raised for poor families?

Rachael Ray: I don't know how much our coffers have, but we just started handing out our first few scholarships. We work through three different levels, so we transfer some of the money to different grass-roots organizations that feed the hungry, and we work with the National Restaurant Association to hand out our scholarship dollars.

Bankrate: You've got cooking and travel shows, a magazine, cookbooks, a talk show -- what's the next thing on your plate?

Rachael Ray: I haven't planned it so far. I try not to plan too far ahead. I just take things in little bits and pieces. The business kind of has a vibe and a life of its own, and I just kind of let it dictate what we all do next.

But we're all very excited about the Yum-O! book coming out, and about Yum-O! really developing and that movement kicking up. The shows are going really great, we have a wonderful summer planned, and I'm constantly writing "30 Minute Meals," so I'm just super, super happy. Whatever comes next, I'm excited to see what it is myself.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy -- Posted: June 6, 2008
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