Here's How Rachael Ray Really Feels About Jacques Pépin

Rachael Ray is no stranger to hosting reality food TV shows — she has five different programs under her belt. She got her start behind the screen with 30 Minute Meals, but Food Network quickly realized that her friendly personality was a golden ticket to attracting and maintaining fans. Since then, she's also been the star of "$40 A Day," "Inside Dish," and "Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels." Last but not least, her self-titled show, "The Rachael Ray Show," is in its 16th season, per Food Network. Quirky and fun, Ray makes fans feel as if she were a friend they can trust.

French-born American chef, Jacques Pépin, is a legend in the food world. He's penned over 30 cookbooks, including one titled "Jacques Pépin's Complete Techniques." He's also an expert at hosting cooking shows, many of which debuted on PBS, according to his professional website. He's also a culinary instructor at Boston University.

In the competitive food world, there's plenty of criticism that Rachael Ray is more of a home cook than a chef. You might wonder if she and world-renowned chef Pépin know each other or have anything in common aside from their TV hosting gigs. After all, there's also a nearly three-decade age difference.

As it turns out, age differences and culinary training haven't limited either of them in their perception of the other.

Ray and Pépin are good friends

The truth is, Rachael Ray and Jacques Pépin are good friends. Pepin has appeared on The Rachael Ray Show as a regular guest and other times as a surprise, per The Artistry of Jacques Pépin. Ray adores Pépin and in one of her episodes was quick to show off Pépin's artwork hanging in her home to fans, according to People. Pépin is most famous as a chef, but one of his hobbies is painting. In 2017, Pepin appeared on Ray's show and gifted her one of his gallery-sized paintings of a rooster that is titled "The Cock."

In August 2020, Ray and her husband John Cusimano lost their home in a terrible fire that destroyed everything they owned. Ray told her fans in an episode of her show that Jacques Pépin and his wife Gloria "were the only friends" who offered them a place to stay after their house burnt to the ground, according to People Magazine.