Television personality, businesswoman, celebrity chef, author, philanthropist, wife, dog lover- there are not many hats that Rachael Ray does not wear. After being ranked within international men’s magazine FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women for two years and counting, this Daytime Emmy Award-winning superwoman wears them all very well. And today, she appears to be handling her every task simultaneously.
Starting at the crack of the morning, she kicks off the ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge with an interview on Good Morning America to spread the word about her national competition. Directly after Good Morning America, she heads to the Food Network to tape "Week In A Day." And that’s before her second wind.
So between her every daunting task, UnleashMagazine.com caught up with the master chef extraordinaire to discuss work and relaxation.
Tell me about ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge.
It inspires animal shelters—and those who support them—to go above and beyond to increase pet adoption, reunite lost pets with their families and save more animals’ lives. We fund part of the Challenge through the proceeds I donate from the sale of the pet food we created called Nutrish.
What prompted you to launch Rachael Ray Nutrish pet food company?
All my life, I have been an advocate for animals and a supporter of animal welfare groups. This inspired me to team up with Ainsworth Pet Nutrition to create a premium pet food and treats for dogs called Nutrish. It’s made with simple, natural ingredients - no by-products, artificial flavors or artificial preservatives. I don’t make a penny from Nutrish…never have. I donate all my proceeds from the sale of Nutrish to help animals in need.
But that’s not all you’re doing in animal rights. Tell me about Rachael’s Rescue.
We started a website called Rachael's Rescue to get out information about pets that need our help. To date, I have donated more than $3.5 million to shelters and animal organizations that take care of animals with no one else to look out for them.
Between your charities, TV shows and books, you seem to stay busy. Is there anything new on the horizon that we can expect?
We just published my 20th book, The Book of Burger and the new season of the daytime show starts up again on September 17th. I also have a new cookbook that I wrote with my husband John called "My Year in Meals," that will come out in November.
Would you ever consider venturing into the pet industry more, like maybe having a show on Animal Planet?
Never say never, but I have a lot of jobs right now.
When did you first fall in love with dogs?
I have always been in love with dogs. I was with my dog Boo for 11 years. She was my best girlfriend and official taste tester for 10 cookbooks.
Is she still with you?
She passed away in 2004 at age 13. When she passed away suddenly, I became obsessed with finding her again. She was more than a dog and I always say that I can still hear her talking away, snorting and grunting. You can never replace a loved one, but you can learn to love again.
It’s always hard losing a pet. How did you handle your loss?
After Boo passed, my husband John posted open letters on the Web, asking if anyone had any red-nosed pit bulls like Boo. We spent an eternity looking at puppies trying to find one that was “Boo-like.” Then, we saw her: a little girl with a wrinkled, worried look on her face and a gentle smile, born just after Boo had passed. I remember she had a white stripe down her nose and a dot in the middle of her forehead just like Boo. She was so precious!
How did you come up with the name Isaboo for her?
We called her Isaboo since Isabella was always my favorite name for a girl, and Boo was my favorite girl, so we combined the names and got “Isaboo.”
All dog owners treasure something special about their canine companions. What makes your dog so special to you?
She just adds so much joy into our lives. We don't have kids but we have Isaboo.
It must be rough caring for your dog with such a busy schedule.
It’s great because Isaboo gets to go to work with Daddy every day.
Do you have any other pets?
Nope, just Isaboo.
Usually, people associate Pit bulls with male owners. What led you to choose that particular breed?
I have always owned Pits and think they are a wonderful breed. People are bad, not animals. I have never met a dog that hasn't just given out kindness.
It’s terrible that Pit bulls have gotten a bad rap.
Ignorance always makes me sad. There is no such thing as an animal that is evil. If you treat creatures with love and respect, that is what will reflect back on you. Any dog can be driven to be evil if they are abused and mistreated. I feel sad for people who are ignorant about Pit bulls and any other animals.