Lives in the Adirondacks with her husband John M. Cusimano, mother Elsa Scuderi, a cat and two fishes. Has a younger brother named Emmanuel (Manny) and an older sister named Maria Betar. Moved to upstate New York when she was in the first grade. At one time, her family owned several restaurants, called “The Carvery”, in and around Falmouth and Mashpee, Massachusetts.
After college, she worked as candy manager at “Macy’s Marketplace” in New York. She was promoted to the fresh food section, then left Macy’s and became a chef and buyer at a gourmet store. She moved out of New York City and, while working in a shop in Albany, she held cooking lessons in the store and caught the attention of a local television station. The station began cooking segments, which later became 30 Minute Meals (2001). She has authored several cookbooks, including “Rachael Ray’s 30-Minute Meals” and “The Open House Cookbook”. She garnered national attention from a segment on the Today (1952) show during a blizzard.