Rachael Ray was already the host of multiple TV shows and the editor of her own magazine (Every Day With Rachael Ray). Now she has literally turned her life upside down: My Year in Meals (Atria /Simon & Schuster, $29.99) documents every meal Ray, 44, cooked for a year. When you flip it over, it becomes My Year in Cocktails, with 100 recipes by her husband, musician John Cusimano.
The Charlotte Observer talked to Ray, who returns again for the Amstel Lite Burger Bash at the SoBe Wine & Food Fest in February.
When you run out of ideas, how do you juice your brain?
I always keep these little notebooks with me. I write recipes all day long, so I can go back when I get stuck. . . . And quite honestly, running, which I started when I turned 40. It really wakes me up. I have to bring my notebook with me to the gym. I’m literally climbing Stairmaster, listening to Foo Fighters and writing in my notebook. I look like a crazy person.
Can you name something we wouldn’t guess about you?
Probably not. I babble on about literally everything. I love to jump out of planes. I take Italian lessons every Wednesday night. My dream job would be rock drummer.
If you had to pick one to give up, would it be salt, extra-virgin olive oil or chocolate?
Chocolate . . . I like dark chocolate, but no big shakes if I gotta give that up. The olive oil gives me a shiny coat, and I am a salty girl.
What do you make when you are stumped?
Aglio e Olio [pasta with anchovies and garlic]. You always have it in the pantry.