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In Lake George, Rachael Ray talks of her Hometown, her charities

Conducting an interview Friday April 12 with television celebrity Rachael Ray (right) is Warrensburg High School student  Allison ‘Allie’ Squires (left), on assignment for the Adirondack Journal. Rachael Ray was in town for her annual hometown show which raises money for the Lake George Scholarship Association. Squires is considered among the top Language Arts students at WCS.

Conducting an interview Friday April 12 with television celebrity Rachael Ray (right) is Warrensburg High School student Allison ‘Allie’ Squires (left), on assignment for the Adirondack Journal. Rachael Ray was in town for her annual hometown show which raises money for the Lake George Scholarship Association. Squires is considered among the top Language Arts students at WCS. Mark Frost/Glens Falls Chronicle

— Rachael Ray said Aug. 12 that although she was staying for a week — her version of spring break — she has the food schedule for her mini-vacation planned to a “T,” including dinners like spinach lasagna and chicken fries.

“I'm always comfortable cooking — They don't make me, I like it,” she said. "I love going out and meeting new people, but what I've learned is that people are just people.”

She said that her shows, whether broadcast nationally or held in Lake George, represent more than just cooking instructions.

“A cut of fish or a chicken breast is just that: a cut of fish or a chicken breast,” she said. “It's really about the storytelling. I like to make meals that people feel they could easily make themselves at home.”

While Rachael Ray’s shows have featured such stars as President Bill Clinton, Julie Andrews, Clay Aiken, and Michael J. Fox, she’s also hosted ordinary people — welcoming them with similar cheerfulness, attention and charm.

“Our goal is to make famous people forget that their famous and make viewers feel like they're part of the program,” she said. Rachael added that she continues to be inspired by her mother, late grandfather, and such chefs as Julia Child and actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

Along with the release of her new book, “My Year In Meals,” Rachael said she plans to continue writing her popular line of cookbooks, including two with her husband John Cusimano. She said she also plans to continue — “Knock on wood!” she jokes — with the seventh season of her daily talk/cooking show.

She’ll also be concentrating on the second season of “Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off,” a Food Network series with Rachael Ray and fellow television chef Guy Fieri mentoring two teams of celebrities, she said.

“It’s my most intense project yet," she said.

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