First ever Yum-o! fundraiser

This past Monday, we popped open “Cafe Una Notte,” or One Night Cafe. When I say we popped it open, I mean literally, we popped up a restaurant out of nowhere. And boy what a night it was. The event was a fund-raiser to benefit my nonprofit organization, Yum-o! and in keeping with the charity’s mission, we flew in 5 high-schoolers, who each has their own passion for the kitchen. Brett Bush, Aria Anatasio, Bernie Roels, Chloe Langis, and Rhiannon Wildman. These kids worked for three days under the guidance of iron chef Michael Symon to create a fantastic feast that blew away professional chefs like Mario Batali and Bobby Flay. Over 70 people came to the event, including President Bill Clinton who gave an inspirational speech on childhood obesity and how his organization, The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, is aligned with our goals at Yum-o! in trying to bring better food choice to kids and families.
Anyway, back to the kids. They worked their tails off and produced an amazing night for everyone, complete with an orange and white, fondant-covered cake that looked so professionally done that no one could believe a 17 year old (Aria) did it! At the end of the evening, we surprised each of the kids with a $10,000 scholarship.

I am proud to say that due to the event, donations from friends and strangers alike, and the proceeds from my new cook book, The Yum-o! Family Cookbook, we are one step closer to achieving the three main goals of the organization-a) bringing awareness to people by getting kids and families in the kitchen, b) literally feeding hungry kids through our partnerships with organizations like Share Our Strength and City Harvest and c) giving scholarships to kids who want to pursue a career in the culinary fields.

Here’s a pic of President Clinton and me with the kids at the event:


31 Responses to “First ever Yum-o! fundraiser”

  1. Jackie says:

    Dear Rachael,
    YOU ROCK!!!!
    Not only are you beautiful, but you are also very warm and generous where it counts- with KIDS- I know this first hand because you were so sweet to my son Julien who came to visit you last week- he has not stopped talking about you and what a good hugger you are-
    Thanks for being so special- ps- I hope you got his flowers- he chose them himself!

  2. Aartee says:

    Its fun to see how kids get interested in cooking. I have been a fan of RR for the past 3 years and her recipes are so down to earth and warm. All the very best to achieving your goals and love reading your books.Keep it going!

  3. Debi says:

    Thank you Rachael for all you do everyday ! You are truly an amazing woman, whom I admire and respect dearly.

    God Bless

  4. Carly says:

    Hi Rach!
    You are awesome!! I love your show but I do have one concern, who did your Emmy submissions? I do not understand how your show only received one nomination…?? Having coordinated the Daytime Emmy award submissions on a daytime drama for 14 years – I am proud to say I received dozens of nominations as well as wins…. are you hiring?

    Leave me a message and I will contact your show

  5. fati says:

    I’m fatima zaheraa amari I’m Morocan girl I love you reachel

  6. Peter Henare says:

    I live in Auckland New Zealand, I watch Rachael Ray 9 oclock on tv 3 every morning. ur cah bomb keep it up.

    Peter Henare

  7. connie says:

    Rach – You are fantastic & giving. YUM-O rocks!!
    I did not know where to post it, but I have some suggestions for Leah on getting rid of the bottle. I have three grown girls & 8 grandchildren! One of my girls & three of the grandkids helped me throw the bottles in the bottle fairy’s box so they could get a big prize. They knew that they would not get the bottles back!. My other ones I took the bottle away & substituted a sippy cup with two handles. After about a week to two weeks I started introducing cups with no lids (be prepared for spills) at lunch & dinner time only. It generally took 3-4 weeks to get them off the sippy cup & on a regular child cup. A night I slowly told them only a drink before bed not during sleep time. I was trying to potty train also which actually help my kids/grandkids get off the night time drinking cause they didn’t want to wet the bed. Have you daughter interact with children her age and older that are NOT on bottles and she will want to be like them. (big girl). just some suggestions if you could pass them on to Leah I would appreciate it. Love your energy!

  8. Hi Rachael

  9. I just love your show. Whenever the grandaughter is over I tape your show. Sorry, I have a great recipe for you. Take frozen pork chops out, heat up some EVO brown them, drain them, pour in a can of crushed tomatoes and small can of tomatoe paste and simmmer. They fall apart. Enjoy ;)

  10. Rachael, I was watching your show today on Cafa una Notte. I cried through the entire show. You are doing an amazing thing for the next generation but our generation as well. Food truly does bring families and all people together.

    God bless you

  11. Jan says:

    I saw today’s show (5/07/08) with highlights of the Yum-O fundraiser. What a fantastic event and those young chefs definitely rock!! Their enthusiasm is contagious. Thank you for addressing health/food issues here in our own country. One question…is the Yum-O canvas bag that was shown on the show available to purchase? I would love to have one or two or….

  12. Leah Peterson says:

    I actually had a another request. I work for a school district in MI and we are working on two grants that allow us to inform students of all ages to live a healthier lifestyle. We do everything from recipes to after school programs to going into the classroom and reading as well. I was just wondering does Rachael Ray make special visits? Because our funding is limited when making a field trip. We are allowed to have speakers, but they cut us going outside the school building. Just let me know? Leah Peterson Nut Educator for Genesee Intermediate School District

  13. Merlyn says:

    Dear Rachael,

    Hi! Seen your show yesterday with my son Jared he is 22 months old. He loves your show he likes remindes me says Mama and points to the TV. He watches u cook and then wants to go into the kitchen and get all the vessels to cook. It was a great show keep it up.

  14. lea says:

    thats really cool that you like to help the kids that are in need. You were really serious that day because you are usually not that showed alot. You really made the kids dreams come true.

  15. Good on you Rachel – that’s such a good cause!

    We need to teach children at an early age about healthy eating habits and nutrition if there is any hope or the future. Keep up the good work!

  16. Heike says:

    Hey Rach!
    I’ve been reading about the latest happenings and must say the One Night Cafe is a really cool idea, and I’m sure it was tons of fun too.
    I’m very impressed with the show too – so many times where I laugh so hard I cry (and that takes some doing) and I’ve learned some great tips.
    So all the way from sunny South Africa, thanks for the quality show! Keep it up, it’s fantastic!
    Cheers, Heike

  17. jen says:

    i was playing around with your tacosagna thing and found a faster way to do it and i still taste great do the hambuger thing but instead of all the sesonings just use taco seasoning a nd pre pare according to the package then add the carrots and zuccini. then do the layering with the cheese and such and it takes less then 20 min for the moms out there that wat it simplifies have you tried it that way?

  18. Janet says:

    I watched the show of the opening night-it was amazing. I am a chef by trade, but a new mom on mat. leave. Seeing what was happening in that kitchen with those kids-man-it gave me goose bumps-and at the end-when they were awarded those scholerships-I had a real “happy cry” for them-they did great, its such a great idea-Rach!
    Since I started my maternity leave-Nov 28-I have watched almost every morning at 9am.
    You are so pretty-so natural and nice and fun-the whole package makes you pretty! Serious!


  19. Athena says:

    Hi Rachael Ray my name is Athena. I’m 4 years old. I love to watch you on TV with my Poppop. I try to cook like you. You are the best cook EVER! The food you cook looks so yummy.


  20. Mickey says:

    Hi, saw you making the Ratatouille last week but missed the last part so didn’t remember if you used cheese on top of vegetables. I made it today and topped the veggies with a mix blend of Italian cheeses and also Parmesean. It was delicious. Even my 9 yr old granddaughter ate it. Thanks.

  21. Dawn Quaid says:

    Rachael Ray you are my inspiration and you motivate me. Since I started watching you on TV many years ago and decided I wanted to be a cook like you. I am getting more confidence about trying harder recipes. When my mom or my husband ask me what I want for a gift I only tell them I want anything of yours. My husband bought me your yum-o cookbook for mothers day. That is all I wanted, and my mom bought me your big soup pot. I tape your show every day and you are amazing. Thank you so much for all you have done for me, and everything you are doing for hungry families.

  22. saheed hamid says:

    hey rach, i can’t believe that what im writing now has the possibility of being read by you. i live in a country sooo far away caled guyana, in south america. it is a kind of poor country, but its nice.there are many hungry needy children on the road that are always asking for help. I think you should make yum-o global. yum-o is amazing. i have watched you cook for almost 3 years now. im 14 going on 15, and i try to cook al your meals. you are an amazing cook. you motivate and inspire us to do our best culinary wise. like you i suck at baking, but i love grilling! i think your show rocks! when me and some guys from school are talking bout shows and stuff, there are always like: i saw smallville yesterday! or i watched heroes..whilst im always like: did you watch racheal ray yesterday?(LOL) ur amazing. i just can’t help but say it soo many times.. i look up to yo rach, i think you’re a warm caring person. sometimes i wish its just possible for me to come up there and see you. watch your show!! i wana come up there and cook wth you. my three wishes are to meet you, to meet holly marie combs and to be a great chef. you should have holly marie combs on your show. shes nice too. she was in the hit tv series charmed. alongside alyssa milano and rose mcgowen. you should have her on your show. i only wish i could see you. you rock rach!

  23. Denise says:

    Hey, Rachael We have loved u 4 years. I Thought of a cute idea and I think u would be the one to do it. A kids book with quick healthy before bed snacks with a little story 2 read after each recipe. I think that would bring bedtime easier and kids will learn 2 eat differnt things. And I know you like to write, but we love you and all your recipes. Take time and care of yourself, Thanks Denise @ Dave

  24. Erica Smith says:


    You really are an inspiration to women. I love watching your show , reading your magazine and cookbook. I can not wait to run out and get a copy of you new book. Children are so hard to feed but you definitely provide healthy alternatives and make cooking fun for them. Great job! Thank you for all you do! Erica :)

  25. Nancy says:

    Hi Rachel,

    What advice can you give me on how to start my own catering business? I love to cook large meals, but I never get a chance to because I’m a single mom of four and VERY busy. I’d love to start my own business to be home more with my kids and to do something I love.



  26. Mary Lou VanDerVeer says:

    Hi there! I love, love, love your show! My boys and I planted a (small) garden on Mother’s Day and I am ondering how I can submit a video of our planting?? Thanks!

    Mary Lou
    North Port, Florida

    PS We grew up in the same neck of the woods!! LOVE Lake George!!

  27. emna says:

    bon jour rachael , moi emna da tunis ,je vous dis que vous ète trés gentille
    moi je regarde votre programme ” daily” en mbc4 , je confiant et je conseiler pour passer en avant
    et enfin je dis bon chance dans les domaine de la vie

  28. Kelly King says:

    Rachel I really love your show I love that you do all of this for people. I never miss your show you are the best I Love You Rachel!!!!

  29. Kelly King says:

    Dear Rachel,
    I love your show I have all ways wanted to meet you. You are my Idol ever since I first seen your show in 2005 I have always had a passion in cooking ever since I started watching your show. My mom loves it when I cook out of one of your cook books.
    YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. B.peach says:

    Hey Rach, I loveyour show. my mom and I try to watch it everyday when we’re not at work or mom & i tryed find some of your cooking tools at our store around here but they dont carry them. so my mom was upset alittle. she buys your books when she finds them.I hope to comesee your show one in person but my mom says we cant afford it now but maybe someday.or maybe you will do a show here in wisconson or minn. well thank you rachael. my mom and me love your show and LOVE MAKING YOUR RECIPES. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK. LOVEYA LOTS B.PEACH

  31. Brooke says:

    hi racheal my name is brooke iam from pa usa
    and i was woundering if you had any thoughts on a topping for green bean casorl for a cook out i have to go too tus night thank u i love ur show i watch it all the time

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