Rachael Ray Thought Her Now-Husband ‘Was a Very Handsome Gay Man’ When She First Met Him

Rachael Ray is known for her bubbly personality and her quick rise to fame as a major star on The Food Network. As someone who has built her lifestyle brand and public persona around home life, she has also provided fans a glimpse or her own personal life in many ways.

Viewers get to peek inside Ray’s home and kitchen. These moments of private spaces help fans feel even more connected to the star who has a reputation for being approachable and making cooking accessible to home chefs without a lot of experience. 

Her personal life also includes sharing adorable details about her love for her husband, but in a recent podcast, she reveals that it wasn’t quite love at first sight. 

Rachael Ray rose to fame on The Food Network 

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Ray grew up around family members working in the food industry, and she soon followed in their footsteps. As Biography.com explains, she got her start in the entertainment business by starting “30 Minute Meals” classes at a gourmet food store.

Soon, her accessible and convenient lessons had gotten enough attention to land her a spot on a local television network. 

The Food Network caught wind of this successful programming and offered Ray the chance to bring her lessons to a much wider audience. 30 Minute Meals premiered in 2001 and ran for more than a decade before wrapping up in 2012 and then getting rebooted in 2019.

Ray has enjoyed other shows on the network as well including $40 a Day and Rachael Ray’s Tasty Travels. She expanded her lifestyle empire by launching a magazine called Every Day with Rachael Ray in 2005. She’s had dozens of cookbooks and is a staple among the celebrity chef world. 

Rachael Ray is married to John Cusimano

RELATED: Rachael Ray Revealed How Her Husband John Cusimano Proposed

More than 15 years ago, Ray wed John Cusimano, and the pair have often given fans an adorable glimpse at their love for one another. Ray’s friend had been trying to nudge her into a relationship with Cusimano for a while, and that included inviting both of them to a birthday party. 

The pair found each other in a crowded room and ended up talking into the night. As Ray puts it, “we have talked every day since the night we met.” Neither had considered themselves on a traditional path when it came to marriage, but they changed their tunes when they found one another.

They were married in a Tuscan castle in 2005, and they are open about the fact that marriage isn’t always easy.

“If John is being an a–hole, I tell him, then I feel better. And John does the same thing. We share a great sense of humor which helps. We yell to get it out, then move on. We kiss, cut up vegetables, and John makes cocktails,” Ray explained. 

It’s also notable that while Ray is a famous chef, Cusimano is also accomplished in the kitchen and pulls his own weight on the cooking duties. 

Rachael Ray’s first impression of her husband wasn’t accurate

Rachael Ray poses during Food Network's 'In the Kitchen With Rachael Ray' in a sunny yellow sweater, while leaning on her kitchen counter.
Food Network’s Rachael Ray, 2020 | Getty Images/Getty Images for NYCWFF

While Ray and Cusimano clearly hit it off and found one another interesting from the first day they met, Ray’s first impression of her future husband wasn’t exactly accurate. The pair talked with Justin Long on his podcast Life is Short with Justin Long, and Ray revealed that she first thought her husband was gay and even had plans to set him up with another man. 

“You’re an excellent cook. When I first met John he told me what he made for dinner the night before and I was gonna set him up with a male friend of mine because he said he wasn’t a chef and I just assumed he was a very handsome gay man,” Ray told Long. 

Cusimano cut in with a laugh, “Later that night I proved to her I was straight.” 

“Oh. You did not. You’re such a liar,” Ray laughed back. 

As Long prodded to find out just what Cusimano had said that made Ray assume he was gay, he remembered the moment in question: “I made tilapia with tomatillos. And I made a maque choux spilling out of an avocado.”