No matter what you think about her chef skills (Anthony Bourdain says "the sooner she stops cooking, the better off we'll both be"), you can't deny that Rachael Ray is a self-starter, a hard worker, and a shrewd marketer. Like Oprah and Martha Stewart, she's turned herself into a one-woman empire, with her food shows, talk show, magazine, dog food line, kitchenware, and cookbooks that seem to multiply like guppies. (We're surely missing three or 12 other ventures she's involved in here; our apologies.) You can hear her discuss her astoundingly diverse career and what drives her in a talk with the New York Times' Kim Severson on Thursday; she'll be taking questions, signing books, and coining adorable catchphrases afterwards. Rachael Ray in Conversation with Kim Severson, 3/26, 8PM, 92nd Street Y, 212-415-5500; get tickets here.