You can’t find a much more delightful TV chef than Rachael Ray. She’s bright, she’s smiley, she’s kind to her fans (and to dogs!) and she has a self-deprecating sense of humor and an "everywoman" vibe that makes her truly relatable. She is one of the most likable personalities on television today, and she became even more likable when she became half of one of the cutest couples ever.
Ray has been married to John Cusimano for 14 years — a lifetime for those in the limelight. He’s visited her talk show multiple times and won over the hearts of all of her fans, but hes still somewhat of a mystery. Who is Rachael Ray’s husband John Cusimano, and what makes them the perfect match? We delved into his history to find out all about what makes him tick — and what secrets he may have to hide.
Rachael Ray met her husband at a party… and tried to set him up with a man
You know how all good love stories start: boy meets girl, boy likes girl… girl tries to set boy up with another boy?
When Rachel Ray met her future husband at a party thrown by a mutual friend, they of course began talking about one of Ray’s favorite topics: food. When John Cusimano told Ray what he had made himself for dinner the night before, though, she jumped to a conclusion that could have ruined their whole relationship before it even started. "I assumed that if you’re not a chef and you made what he told me he made, that he was gay," Ray told the audience of The Rachael Ray Show. Being the nice person she is, she figured that even if he wasn’t into her, she could still get him a date. "So I was going to set him up with a friend of mine — another handsome Italian man," she went on.
The only problem was, Cusimano wasn’t gay. He told her this, and the pair proceeded to talk until 4 a.m. It was the start of a beautiful relationship and "really was our first date," according to Ray.
Rachael Ray’s husband is the lead singer of a rock band
Not only is Rachael Ray’s husband John Cusimano handsome, charming, and completely straight, but he is also the lead singer of an indie rock band called The Cringe. He plays guitar for the group as well, and writes the music, which he plays with bassist Johnny Blaze, lead guitarist James Rotondi, and drummer Shawn Pelton. While the group remains on an independent label, it has had some really huge success, opening for bands like The New York Dolls, Steel Panther, Fuel, and even Motley Crue.
Cusimano has been passionate about music since he was very young. He always longed to express himself in some creative way, and finally found an outlet in music. "I can’t dance and I can’t draw, so that left me with music," he told AXS.com (via Heavy).
After forming The Cringe with his friends, their band’s popularity exploded. They have released several albums and are still producing music today, with almost 25,000 followers on Facebook and an incredible 181,000 followers on Twitter.
Rachael Ray’s husband is also a producer and actor
Rachael Ray’s husband, John Cusimano, is truly a jack of all trades — and he seems to be a master of all of them. In addition to being the lead singer of a rock band, he’s also a pretty successful actor and movie producer. According to IMDb, his best-known films are World War Mud from 1982, 1996’s Rurouni Kenshin: Wandering Samurai, and Crashing from 2017.
When it comes to his roles in movies and television, Cusimano can do it all. In TV series Crashing, he plays a fictionalized version of himself in one episode. For Rurouni Kenshin: Wandering Samurai, an animated series, he acts as producer. He has also produced multiple other shows and movies, including Biography, Entertainment Tonight, and E! True Hollywood Story. He has even worked as an actor in several other films and has appeared in many of Ray’s television specials, giving him one of the most well-rounded resumes in Hollywood.
Rachael Ray’s husband is into mixology
As if playing in a band, acting in movies, and producing television series weren’t enough, Rachael Ray’s husband John Cusimano also has a hobby he loves to pursue: mixology. According to People Magazine, Ray does much of the cooking for the two, but Cusimano is in charge of cocktails. Not only does this make Ray and Cusimano the perfect complement to each other in the kitchen, but it also makes for great TV. On more than one occasion, Cusimano has appeared on The Rachael Ray Show to share some of his drink recipes with the audience, including his Negroni Cocktail, which involves a mix of gin and campari.
Some of his other recipes include a Rosé Champagne Spritzer, which calls for bitters, elderflower liqueur, lemon, and (obviously) a "splash" of rosé champagne, and his signature "Lost in the Woods Cocktail" that combines gin, lime juice, Green Chartreuse liqueur, and fennel fronds and bulbs for an earthy, "drinking outdoors under the stars" taste.
Rachael Ray’s husband co-authored one of her cookbooks
Most chef/cookbook authors work alone, but not Rachael Ray. For her 2012 cookbook, My Year in Meals and My Year in Cocktails, Ray enlisted the help of her husband, John Cusimano, to flush out a veritable scrapbook of their lives together as foodies. Ray provided recipes for the dishes she cooked for friends and family members every day for a year, as well as recipes for more "complicated culinary feats," and Cusimano brought the cocktail recipes that ranged from everyday drinks like the Pomegranate Margarita to the holiday-themed Nod to Nog and Halloween Fizz.
According to the book’s description on Amazon, "Whether shaken or stirred, straight up or on the rocks, with a cherry or a twist, John’s creations — like his Strawberry Velvet featuring honey liqueur, strawberries, and lime — are always fresh, fun, and certain to make any gathering more memorable." Ray’s dishes are delicious on their own, but they are made even better in the company of one of Cusimano’s cocktails, which always have something unique and sensational to offer.
Rachael Ray has a nickname for her husband
From looking at photos of them, it is easy to see that Rachael Ray and her husband, John Cusimano, are very fond of each other. They clearly have a special bond, even more than we know from the public’s perspective, so it is no surprise that Ray has a special nickname just for Cusimano. Any guesses based on what we’ve told you so far? We’ll give you a hint. It has something to do with one of his biggest passions: alcoholic beverages.
According to Delish, Ray calls Cusimano "Johnny Walker" because he loves scotch so much. This may come as a bit of a shock, based on the fact that he mostly dabbles in more fruit-based cocktail drinks, but Ray knows what her man loves, and she used that knowledge to give him a humorous nickname that the whole world now knows. Sorry, Johnny, the secret’s out!
Rachael Ray’s husband cooks for her when she’s sick
Ask anyone what they want in a potential mate, and they will tell you that they want someone who takes care of them. One of the best ways to show your love for someone is to cook for them, and in the Ray-Cusimano household, this is a two-way street. Ray might cook the meals on most nights, but her husband, John Cusimano, is no slouch in the kitchen either. In fact, he has a special meal he makes for Ray whenever she isn’t feeling well to help her get back on her feet.
"If I’m sick, my husband will make me minestra: escarole-and-white bean soup," she told E! News. As you can see from the recipe on The Rachael Ray Magazine website, this dish takes some time to make, and is comforting as all get-out, with chicken stock, sausage, whole wheat pasta, vegetables, garlic, beans, and the ultimate comfort food: cheese. We might be feeling a little sick too… can Cusimano come cook for us?
Rachael Ray’s husband gives her a sweet Valentine’s Day gift every year
In an interview with People Magazine in 2018, Rachael Ray dished about her husband John Cusimano, and why their relationship is so strong. She also shared some of their traditions. One of their favorite ones is their Valentine’s Day tradition of each sharing something with the other that is truly personal, and that really expresses their talents and who they are.
Every year for the past 10 years, Cusimano has given Ray the perfect Valentine’s Day gift: a homemade playlist full of songs he picked out just for her. There’s no word on whether this playlist normally includes a song or two by his own band, but we’re sure Ray will be fangirling either way. People have been making personalized playlists to show their love since the cassette tape was a thing, and it’s hard to find a gift that’s more thoughtful than that.
Rachael Ray’s husband’s favorite dish is her pasta carbonara
Rachael Ray has introduced so many dishes in her cookbooks and on her talk show (and all of her cooking shows on the Food Network) that we’re sure it’s probably tough to keep them all straight. There are so many to choose from, that her husband must struggle not to gain too much weight trying them all. While it was surely hard to pick just one favorite Rachael Ray entree, her husband John Cusimano has one: the classic Italian dish, pasta carbonara.
And he gets that favorite meal at least once a year on Valentine’s Day, which makes the day even more special. "I make him his favorite meal which is pasta carbonara," Ray told People Magazine. As a bonus, she also gives him a "bouquet of salamis" from different countries all over the world, "because he just loves pork — what are you gonna do?" We wonder if they listen to Cusimano’s playlist while they eat carbonara and salami together every year?
Rachael Ray’s husband has been plagued by some nasty (and weird) cheating rumors
The overarching theme of this article seems to be that Rachael Ray’s husband, John Cusimano, is a great guy. He’s awesome at everything he does, and he’s really sweet to his wife. Unfortunately, things haven’t always been sunshine and rainbows for the couple. Before the ink on their wedding certificate had even dried, tabloids began running articles claiming that Cusimano was not just cheating on Ray with another woman, but with prostitutes, one of whom claimed that Cusimano paid her to "spit on him and put her feet in his mouth."
The couple dismissed the rumors, but another wave of gossip started in 2013. This time, tabloids claimed that Cusimano frequented a swinger’s club (or, as The Daily Mail calls it, "an exclusive alternative lifestyle venue") called Checkmate. They said that he went six times or more, always with "at least one female escort" who was not Ray.
When asked about the story, Ray said that the couple didn’t comment on stories published in the tabloids. Later, it was announced that Cusimano was planning to sue the magazine because it was such a blatant lie.
Rachael Ray loves her husband "more than all the whiskey in heaven"
Obviously, it’ll take a lot more than cheating rumors to split up a couple as close as Rachael Ray and her husband John Cusimano. In 2015, well after the rumor mill had stopped spitting out stories about Cusimano and his supposed affinity for feet and strange women, the pair renewed their vows to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. They returned to the castle in Tuscany where they got married (and brought along 100 of their friends and family members) to declare their never-ending love for each other in a beautiful ceremony during which "there wasn’t a dry eye in the house."
When it was her turn to speak, Ray recited a poem that she says sums up their love. The poem, fittingly titled "All the Whiskey in Heaven," says, in Ray’s words, "Under any circumstance, I would still choose you and I would still be with you. And I love you more than all the whiskey in heaven." We might have to check the Bible for an exact amount, but we’re pretty sure that’s a whole lot.