Rachael Ray Bids Farewell to Her Show with Tears, Pasta and a Send-Off from Oprah Winfrey
When Rachael Ray sees you, she will know.
After 17 seasons, the syndicated daytime talk show hosted by the celebrity chef, The Rachael Ray Show, aired its final episode on Wednesday. Beam’s superstar companions, including Oprah Winfrey, Donnie Wahlberg and Jenny McCarthy sent their kindly words from a far distance. She also received sweet farewells earlier this week from Cameron Diaz, Michelle Obama, Kate Hudson, and others.
During the final episode, the 30 Minute Meals star kicked off with what she does best: cooking in her own home kitchen.
She made her husband, John Cusimano’s “favorite dish on the planet” — pasta carbonara.
“When I met and fell in love with my husband, I asked him what I should make him,” she recounted, adding that it was the simple pasta dish. To celebrate the milestone day, she added king crab to the recipe and dubbed it “crabonara.”
“There you go honey, happy last show,” she said to her husband while serving the creamy pasta in a serving platter. Midway through the final episode, Donnie Wahlberg joined for his thirteenth appearance on her show via video chat. “You’re part of me and Jenny’s family,” he said. “You’ve been around for so much of our time. One of the first times I spent with you, I was this single guy, and I was there on your show when I met Jenny — not long after. You’ve been such a part of our journey together.”
McCarthy then appeared on the screen and gave a heartfelt pre-recorded message for Ray. “Thank you so much for being a friend, a sister, a mentor,” she said. “You are indeed a ‘GOAT’ in daytime and love you and miss you.”
Before Wahlberg signed off, Ray assured viewers she wasn’t “retiring” and she had a “few more hat tricks” in her. The New Kids on the Block star and the chef both teared up as he closed with “the world thanks you.”As the show neared its curtain call, chef Richard Blais, who worked with Ray for over a decade, made a chicken lobster piccata dish as an homage to her signature Italian-American dishes.
“You’ve meant so much to me and my family — best team in the game,” Blais said to Ray in an emotional message when his cooking segment concluded.
Oprah Winfrey, who met Ray almost 20 years ago and helped launch her show, closed off the celebrity lineup with a profound final message. “It’s hard to say goodbye to the audience, that was very tough for me, but the hardest is saying goodbye to the people who’ve become your family these past 17 years: the crew, the staff, the producers, everybody who has made The Rachael Ray Show everything that it is,” Winfrey said in the pre-recorded video.
She added: “I couldn’t be more proud of you for showing up as yourself so authentically everyday and bringing us laughter and joy all of these years. I knew from the moment that we met back in 2005 on the Oprah show that you were the real deal.”
Winfrey closed the clip with a sweet “thank you” on behalf of the audience. “I say congratulations and I can’t wait to see what you cook up next, yum yum,” she said.The broadcast then featured a montage of the team’s favorite moments from the past almost two decades. Clips spotlighted everyone from Emeril Lagasse and Julie Andrews to Michael J. Fox and Michelle Obama.
Ray sat beside her husband during her final message and thanked him for his help — especially during the pandemic as he pitched in while she worked from home. “Seventeen years ago was not only the start of this show. It was when we still had our sweet Isaboo and it was the start of the magazine,”
she said of their late dog. “So much going on and you’ve been with me all these years. Thank you,” she said as the pair shared a kiss.
Finally, Ray addressed her beloved co-workers. “Nobody gets me like you guys get me. You all make me better,” she said. She closed the final episode with her signature sign off: “We’ll see ya when we see ya, everybody.”