How Oprah Helped Make Rachael Ray's Career Possible

Rachael Ray's story is an inspirational one. The celebrity chef has worked really hard to earn recognition in the culinary space. Per Biography, Ray experimented with many gigs before she got lucky — she was asked to present her unique concept, "30 Minutes Meals," on television by a local network years ago. This was a brilliant opportunity for the enterprising chef, who made sure to utilize the chance to its fullest. Her hard work paid off, and how!

Ray gained recognition for her charming on-screen persona, and was eventually offered a chance to host her own show. Her most appealing characteristic is the fact that she wants her audiences to be able to feel connected with her cooking style and try out her techniques at home. Basically, you don't need to be an extremely experienced chef to pick up some of Ray's techniques, as she makes her content accessible for chefs of all skill level. 

Yet, while Ray may be a popular name now, she acknowledges that her journey had its set of challenges. And she definitely did not do it alone. She was assisted by some of the best names in the industry, including Oprah Winfrey. Yes, for real. 

Oprah Winfrey helped launch Rachael Ray's TV show

During an interview with Howard Stern, Rachael Ray revealed that she owes a great deal to Oprah Winfrey. She mentioned that she was asked early in her career to cook with the renowned TV personality on The Oprah Show. She could not believe it and was left "speechless." Things didn't exactly go as planned, however, as Ray's flight to Chicago got cancelled, thereby delaying the filming of her segment on the show. 

Ray had to find an alternate route, but could not avoid the delay, which meant that she found herself rushing to get to Oprah's set on time for the shoot. Ray said, "I show up and I'm just a hot mess and her hair and makeup people look at me with such pity, they almost start crying." However, the awkwardness did not last. Ray was a superstar in front of the camera and impressed Oprah so much that she told the chef during the break, "You've got it." What a massive compliment!

Oprah decided to back Ray and made sure that her company, Harpo Studios, produced Rachael Ray's show. Ray is grateful for everything Oprah has done for her. She said, "I have to tell you she is delightful and has changed the course of my life and my family's life."