There are similarities for sure. Rachael Ray and Liz Vaccariello, both brunettes in their early 40s, possess an energy and ambition that took them to the top. Ray, of course, is a Food Network star who appears on television approximately 260 hours a year between the Rachael Ray Show, 30 Minute Meals and Rachael Ray's Week in a Day. Vaccariello became editor of Cleveland Magazine in her 20s and moved to New York City to helm Fitness then Prevention magazines. Now, the two have teamed up to revamp Every Day with Rachael Ray. The result? A magazine more practical than Martha's and less preachy than Oprah's. We caught up with Vaccariello to see how she did it.
Q. How did you end up working for Rachael Ray?
A. I got a call about this opportunity, and it was ideal in so many ways. Rachael and I are friends. I love food, and I love to cook. I also believe in the mission of Every Day with Rachael Ray. [It] shows people you can find something cool and fun in every day of your life.
Q. How did you change the magazine?
A. It's about 50 percent more food because readers wanted more recipes. We have more lifestyle, more pop culture, more fashion and beauty, more home makeovers and more travel. We also have more Rachael.
Q. How involved is Ray in the magazine?
A. Very. She reads and signs off on every page of the magazine. Everything with her name on it, she has written.
Q. What don't we know about Rachael Ray?
A. It's a hard question to answer because she's so real and genuine. What you see is how she is in real life. She's funny. She's cool. She's got a little attitude. And she makes cooking fun.
Q. There's got to be something.
A. She hates mayonnaise. Did you know that?
Q. What's your favorite recipe of hers?
A. Probably once a week, my husband and I make her sweet Italian sausage subs with fennel and onion. The recipe will actually be in the June/July issue (pictured).
Q. How do you balance this job and your 6-year-old twin girls?
A. I'm plugged in 24-7. But when I walk in that door, I get down on my knees and I hug Sophia and Olivia because none of it matters one iota compared to their happiness and their health and my love for them.