I recently learned television chef Rachael Ray is one of the most reviled celebrities of our time. That really surprises me because I thought she was a really cool chick.
Believe it or not, I hung out with Rachael Ray for two full days in New York City.

I thought both Rachael Ray and her husband John Cusimano were incredibly nice, down-to-earth people.
You may not know Rachael Ray's husband is a musician with The Cringe trying to make it big (he's also a lawyer). They're talented; their good.

Rachael Ray is their No. 1 fan. She's that front-row girl screaming her head off for her heart-throb crush like a high schooler.

Not only is she his biggest fan, but she's really stepped up in trying to make his dream a reality. She supports him (financially) in all his endeavors. I just happened to benefit from one of those endeavors. I was picked from among many radio programmers to fly to NYC and watch The Cringe perform -- paid for by Rachael Ray.

Honestly, it was one of the coolest trips my wife and I had been on. I'd never been to Manhattan. It was great touring NYC.
The first night we had dinner with Rachael, John, and a bunch of other radio people.
Then we went to see the band perform at a popular rock bar.
We also hung out with an old friend of Rachael Ray's who's known her since Rachel was a child.
We saw her -- this lady in her 80s -- at the concert. She stuck out like a sore thumb so we approached her and asked why she was there. We became friends with her and the next day she gave us a tour of south Manhattan -- where she'd lived her entire life. Later on we saw a television biography of Rachael Ray and guess who was the main "friend" telling stories? The old lady! We called her to tell her we saw her on TV, and she said something like, "Oh I'm on TV all the time because I know so many people."

Getty Images, Aaron Davidson