Q&A: Rachael Ray on Her First Job, Being the Boss and Eating Healthy at Work

Rachael Ray 200x238Even though she has 22 cookbooks, four TV shows, a lifestyle magazine and a line of dog and cat food, don’t call Rachael Ray a one-woman-cottage-industry. “I don’t like those terms,” she says. “It sounds like I created an ‘evil empire’ or something.” Her success wasn’t plotted out: “I just enjoy working, I enjoy people and I enjoy food. So, I do what I love; the TV just sort of happened. That’s just a bonus.”

With her latest title, Everyone Is Italian on Sunday, recently hitting stores, she took time out to answer our career questions.

Q: What was your very first job and what did you learn from it?
A: I worked for my mother since before I had working papers, and I learned the value of a hard day’s work. It feels good.

Q: What’s the best job advice you ever got?
A: Don’t take yourself too seriously, work harder than everyone else and don’t complain about it.

Q: What have you learned from being the boss?
A: Don’t be bossy! You’re not always going to get your way. Be reasonable, don’t ask people to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself and don’t put your name on anything you’re not proud of.

Q: What advice would you give people dreaming of starting their own business?
A: Do it! No reason not to. If you have a telephone these days, you have access to the world. You can give anybody advice, you can sell any product. Just do it!

Q: What’s your advice for women who have a hard time eating healthy at work?
A: Cook! Start making your own food!

Q: Do you have a favorite go-to meal?
A: No, I don’t. I do not play favorites with food. I like all of it.


▶ Read more from the November 2015 newsletter.