The $18 million woman

rachael rayBack in the day -- thought it wasn't really that long ago -- Rachael Ray was doing local TV spots for $50 a pop. Well, she's making a just a little bit more these days.

Forbes reports that The Ray is now raking in $18 million a year from all her shows, publications and endorsements. That makes her the highest-paid cooking person in the nation (Forbes uses the word "chef" but Her Rachaelness doesn't describe herself as such).

That's more than Wolfgang Puck ($16 million), Mario Batali ($3 million), and Anthony Bourdain ($1.5 million). Clearly, the Ray needs new competition. So we decided to see how she stacked up against some other top performers in entertainment fields...

Lebron James - Cleveland Cavs forward - $38 million [source]

Alex Rodriguez - 3rd baseman for the Yankees - $34 million [source]

Giselle Bundchen - model - $33 million [source]

Gwen Stefani - singer - $27 million [source]

Reese Witherspoon - actor - $25 million [source]

Rachael Ray - maker of 30-minute meals - $18 million

Jon Stewart - sane voice in world gone mad - $14 million [source]

Katherine Heigl - actor - $13 million [source]

photo: CBS/KingWorld


I think "Six Degrees of Rachael Ray" should be Albany's version of the Kevin Bacon game. I'll go first.

Rachael Ray used to supervise my step brother when he worked at Cowen and Lobel in Stuyvesant plaza (when it was there, in the 90s). Score, I didn't even need 6 degrees.

Ok, who wants to play next?

I met Rachael when she was doing soft news stories for Channel 10 (I think) - I worked at a co-ed aerobic boxing gym (Sweeneys in Delmar) and she came in to do a story. I wrapped her hands and took her through the first 30 minutes of her workout... I remember thinking she was very pretty, but she had a squeaky voice and smelled like cigarettes.

Awesome Barold! Thanks for playing! Alright, who's next?!

Wow...Rachael Ray smokes? I wouldnt have thought, with her ready-for-opera voice. Her voice is sounding worse and worse..she's going to sound like one of those ladies that hangs out at the OTB...

As for her cooking, I'll pass. Shes become a shill...will put her name on anything and everything (even dog food...).

Her overexposure will cost her...stupid Dunkin Donuts commercials, pots and pans, her NBC show, etc.

I would like to add that we ended up at a bar together that night, got stupid drunk, and had wild 'food oriented' sex, where she used assorted spatulas and oils - but that would be a lie.

I love Rachael Ray and I lover her show!!! I also love the Mets and Redskins

I don't have anything against Rachael Ray.. I don't begrudge her success. And I admit she's an easy target. That said, what I find most surprising is her age. She's turning 40 this month but girlfriend looks about 25. Those Dunkin Donuts & Ritz Crackers must be filled with omega 3s and anti-oxidants! Who knew?!

Pants, I think the ingredient you overlooked is called "photoshop."

Yeah...I don't get all the haters. I remember (not all that long ago) her handing out samples of her cooking at the Slingerlands Price Chopper, while hawking a cookbook. Far from glamorous, for sure. I say more power to her.

re: Greg


Diana - I agree, I don't get the haters either. I'm not a fan, but I certaintly wouldn't throw Rachael out of bed for eating crackers... if she continued to eat and eat and eat crackers, donuts, muffins,etc..... well, that's a different story.

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