Rachael Ray Shares Local Secrets and Why She Calls the Adirondacks Her Home

by Patrick Batu Subscribe to Patrick Batu's posts Posted Oct 8th 2009 01:27 PM



Rachael Ray, the highly successful culinary star, may live in New York State but she prefers the Adirondack Mountains to New York City. We sat down with the hard-working star to find out why she'll always choose the mountains over the city and what she recommends for visitors to her hometown.

This self-made star is a stellar example of the value of hard work. She has no formal culinary education to her name, but was still able to rely on real-world experiences working in restaurants to launch her career in 2001. (She started off managing the fresh foods department at a local market to Mister Brown's Pub at The Sagamore, a hotel on Lake George she then moved on to teaching courses on how to make meals in less than thirty minutes). Today, she is credited with bringing the culinary world to mainstream America with her outrageously popular show "30 Minutes Meals" on the Food Network.

In spite of her popularity, Ray keeps it real in upstate New York, where she grew up. "I bought the three and a half acres that my cabin sits on for one-hundred thousand dollars and that was the only time in my life that I've thought; Wow, I've really made it."

Keep reading to find out why Rachael will always call upstate New York home and what the Adirondacks have in store for visitors.

The Adirondack mountains are a popular getaway. What was it like growing up there?

Rachael Ray: It's just so beautiful, you can't imagine. If you've never visited, there's six million acres in the park and in the fall, it just looks like the mountains are on fire. It's amazing. I love New York very much and it's a wonderful home for our show. My husband and I are very happy with the time we spend in the city but when I say I'm going home, the staff and all my friends know that I mean I'm going up to the mountains. I only get to go home once a month and I live in the same cabin now that I lived in eighteen years ago. I bought the three and a half acres that my cabin sits on for one-hundred thousand dollars and that was the only time in my life that I've thought; Wow, I've really made it.

Do you have a favorite restaurant out there?

Rachael Ray: My house. I love to eat at home. However, I do have a couple of favorite restaurants in the Lake George/Lake Luzerne area. Over on the far side of Lake George, it's called The Ridge Terrace cause it's on Ridge Road. It's just fantastic food. Classic, back in the day old school preparation. It's just a beautiful, beautiful log, polished wood, cozy place. I feel very much at home there. We go there everytime I go home. There's also Harvest Pizza where I have a pizza named after me. Peppers, onions and hot peppers. It's called the Harvest Pizzeria in Queensbury. I also love the Mount Calm. It's another classic back in the day place. I always get the same thing there; roasted half-chicken with caramelized onion green beans and they half this raw cranberry sauce that is unbelievably delicious.

What recommendation would you have for anyone visiting the area?

Rachael Ray: My favorite time of year is fall and if you go to our region in the fall, the foliage is reason enough to go there. I like to go apple picking over at Hick's which is in Granville, NY. It's probably about half-hour to forty-five minutes from Lake George Village. They have the cornfield maze and the haunted hayrides and of course, the apples. It's great.
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