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Rachael Ray Reveals How to Have the Perfect First Date: ‘The Way to Anyone’s Heart Is Through Their Stomach’

Rachael RayGregory Pace/Shutterstock

Rachael Ray is dishing more than scrumptious recipes! The culinary pro revealed her no. 1 tip for the perfect first date night to Us Weekly. Hint: It involves food.

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The Rachael Ray Show host, 51, told Us at the Blue Moon Burger Bash during New York City’s Wine & Food Festival earlier this month, that she’s lived by the same date night advice for nearly three decades.

“The way to anyone’s anything — any part of their body — and especially their heart, is through their stomach,” she explained. “If you cook for someone rather than spend money or make a reservation … you’re appealing to all of their senses and you’re showing them that you cared to think about them before they came into the room.”

Ray says a home-cooked meal will do the trick even if the dish is burned, over-salted or if your date turned out to be a vegetarian and you didn’t know, because the gesture matters more than the meal itself. “And no matter how it goes, you’re going to be dessert,” she joked.

The power of a home-cooked meal is also part of the reason why the Classic 30-Minute Meals author still frequently prepares dishes for her husband, John Cusimano, whom she married in 2005. “It’s equally attractive to see his ass at the sink washing my dishes after. It’s wildly attractive to see someone clean for you,” she said with a laugh.

Though Ray already has 25 cookbooks under her belt, she describes her latest effort, Rachael Ray 50: Memories and Meals from a Sweet and Savory Life, as a “reflection” of her time on Earth so far. She also deemed it something “totally different” to anything she’s written before.

“It’s 125-plus recipes, so it is a cookbook, but it’s 24 episodes of looking back and trying to share with people in a different way than I can on TV, that it still means a lot to be an American and you should be grateful for it,” she told Us. “We were kicked out of everywhere, or were running from something quite horrible, and we made our own set of very special rules. And because of those rules, a waitress from upstate New York with no special anything can have television shows, cookbooks, good jobs and access to all this wonderful stuff.”

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Added the New York native: “Anybody can be me. And the point of the book is to remind people no matter how far apart we feel we’re getting, we are bound by something that’s so singular and so epically important.”

Given all of her success, Ray is surprisingly unassuming, and told Us she has the world to thank for keeping her humble after success in the culinary realm. “For a long time, my most devoted fans ran a website called I Hate Rachael Ray,” she revealed with a laugh. “The world will keep us all in check. The world does a good enough job of that.”

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Speaking of the naysayers, Ray added that she’s managed to tune them out by instead focusing her energy on those she actually cares about pleasing. “I work for the people who do watch and read us. I work for my mom, my grandfather, my dog, my husband,” she explained. “I work for the people that are my guests, my community. I work for the gift of getting up tomorrow and the opportunity to give more each day.”

With reporting by Brody Brown

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