New York with Rachael Ray Nutrish! A Dream Come True!

Hi every furry! Its’ Dakota, but today I am allowing my Mom to take over the blog in spite of the fact that it is ME who is one of a group of “Ambassadogs” for Rachael Ray Nutrish!  You see, because of my impeccable culinary taste, my MOM benefited! MOM HAD A DREAM COME TRUE!!!

As anyone knows who knows my Mom,she loves all things Rachael Ray as much as I love Nutrish! Mom has gone to a book signing of hers, she has nearly all of her cookbooks, magazines, you name it, she has it!

One thing Mom NEVER had, until November 13, 2013 was the chance to actually go to the Rachael Ray Show!

Thanks to Mission Control at Nutrish and the folks at the Rachael Ray Show, Mom’s dream came true!

nutrish new york show ticket

All of the humans who help their doggies be “Ambassadogs” for Rachael Ray Nutrish received the trip of a lifetime! They were flown to New York on November 12th, 2013 and spent a couple of whirlwind days in the Big Apple! Now, I will let Mom tell you the rest! Sit back and relax guys, get something to eat, go to the bathroom, this is gonna be a LONG ONE! Take it away Mom!

I barely slept for days, make that weeks, anticipating flying to New York with my fellow Nutrish bloggers/brand Ambassadors to attend the Rachael Ray Show! We were all treated to the trip of a lifetime, and they generously allowed us to bring a guest along with us! My husband was the lucky recipient!

From the moment I arrived at the airport I was giddy with excitement and told anyone and everyone who would listen had the misfortune of being in my path,  where I was going. I could barely contain myself.

When we arrived at the Hilton Fashion District Hotel, I stepped out of the cab, turned my head to to the right and what did I see?

nutrish new york rachael ray sign outside of hotel

I literally SCREAMED! Right down the street was a giant Rachael Ray sign in front of the Chelsea Television Studios! I couldn’t stop smiling! Tomorrow couldn’t come fast enough for me but first my husband and I wanted to enjoy a little bit of New York.

After checking in, we took off for a walk and had lunch in a bustling and loud, (I fit in so perfectly in New York),  deli where I had a scrumptious turkey reuben.  Then we walked around the Fashion District, visiting shops and just soaking in the energy that is New York!

That evening we had a tantalizing dinner at the hotel at the Rare Bar and Grill where we dined with cousins of mine that reside in New York that I hadn’t seen for at least 20 years! The hotel restaurant was superb, I had the most AMAZING “lobster cake” sandwich that was to die for!

After an evening spent reminiscing and reconnecting we returned to our room, check out our view:

nutrish new york empire state building blue

Yep that is the Empire State Building, right outside of our window! How romantic is that?

Wednesday, November 13th couldn’t arrive fast enough for me. The Nutrish Ambassadors were divided into 2 groups. One group would attend the Rachael Ray Show in the morning, the other would go in the afternoon. Thankfully, because I don’t think I could have waited a moment longer, I was in the morning group.

We were treated to a delightful breakfast, and then we made our way out into the COLD and WINDY weather that greeted us, to walk to the studio that was only a block away.

The number of people in line waiting to get in was just unreal! I felt like a celebrity because since we were with the ladies of Nutrish, we had immediate entry, and didn’t have to endure a long and COLD line!

Entering the lobby, we were warmly greeted, by staff of the Rachael Ray Show. Cameras clicked as fans took photos of Rachael that adorned the tangerine colored walls. We made our way swiftly through the interior line where our purses and selves were checked before entering the “holding area.”

In the “holding area there were more photos of Rachael on the walls:

nutrish new york rachael ray photo on wall

The reason there is white bursts on the photo is because so many fans were taking pictures of it!

A television was on the wall as well which was showing various episodes of The Rachael Ray Show. The photo below shows Rachael with Chef Mario Batali

nutrish new york rachael ray mario batali

Behind us was a “kitchen” that appeared to possibly have been made to resemble Rachael’s old kitchen from her “30 Minute Meal Show” but don’t quote me on that because I am not sure.

nutrish new york kitchen

The room filled with people and we waited……..

The "Einstein" guy in the front is my husband Lenny, seated next to him is Paris Permenter and her husband John (of Dog Tipper), and Amber Carlton (Mayzies's Dog Blog) and her husband Mitch

The “Einstein” guy in the front is my husband Lenny, seated next to him is Paris Permenter and her husband John (of Dog Tipper), and Amber Carlton (Mayzies’s Dog Blog) and her husband Mitch

Before we knew it, we were called to enter the studio. As I made my way in, I gasped. The studio is so much more beautiful in person, TV does NOT do it justice! Rachael Ray’s favorite color is orange, so like the holding area and lobby, the studio is also a warm, inviting tangerine hue. There are knickknacks, paintings, photos, so much to take in and absorb that all I wanted to do was savor the moment. I COULD NOT BELIEVE I WAS AT THE RACHAEL RAY SHOW!

I was surprised to learn that when you visit the show you aren’t watching an entire episode, we actually watched FIVE segments being taped that would be televised over TWO shows. Another interesting fact that we were reminded of by Joey Kola, (the most AMAZING and hilarious crowd warm-up person EVER!!!) was that we weren’t WATCHING TV at home, we were WATCHING TV BEING MADE! (That meant that we had to be mindful not to speak or make noise because a show was being made!) It was Joey’s job to make sure that all of our applause, oohs, aahs and cheers took place at the proper time! He was so warm and funny with us that I could have listened to him for hours!

When Rachael Ray made her way into the studio, looking perky and adorable in a black pleated cheerleader type skirt and knee-high black boots and black blouse, I thought I would die! She is just GORGEOUS, far prettier than she appears to be on TV.

Then, the ultimate! Her eyes were drawn to my husband’s fuchsia shirt and she told him how “sexy” she thought it was for a man to be wearing pink! She must have mentioned his shirt at least 10 times off camera. Before our segments were over, my husband had become known as “Pink Shirt Guy” or “HOT Pink Shirt Guy”, and I think he will save that shirt for the rest of his life, not to mention the dollar bill that Rachael Ray stuck in his pants pocket during an off-camera audience dance contest!

nutrish new york audience photo

The guest who we were treated to watching was  Elizabeth Hasselbeck, (<<<<<click to view segment that we saw)

a cooking segment  for BBQ Turkey Gumbo(<<<<<click to view the segment that we saw)

and an audience member winning $1000 from Butterball Turkey. (<<<<<click on the link and you will catch a glimpse of me and Lenny and you will see Amber and her husband!) 

I was in complete awe of the entire taping process, the number of people it takes just to tape ONE cooking segment, Rachael Ray herself, EVERYTHING. I did not want this incredible experience to end!

(Due to the length of this blog post, I am going to just add a few more things: our fun didn’t end with the show!)

We were treated to a marvelous lunch by Nutrish and then Lenny and I went off to investigate the famous Chelsea Market where the Food Network studios are located and where Rachael Ray herself often shops! It is an indoor “market” with high-end specialty food, misc. and clothes shops that you could get lost in and EAT your way through for DAYS!

nutrish new york chelsea market 1

nutrish new york chelsea market 2

That evening when we had returned to our hotel room to change for the evenings festivities, we were greeted by this AMAZING sunset that we enjoyed from our room:

nutrish new york skyline from room

 Then we were whisked away in a STRETCH LIMO to enjoy a most superb dinner at

The Chester

Gansevoort Meatpacking

18 Ninth Aveue


We dined on:


  • Burrata Flatbread
  • Chilean Seabass Skewers


  • Marinated Skirt Steak
  • Chimichurri
  • Fried Chicken
  • Peppered Tuna


  • Buttermilk mashed potatoes
  • wilted kale with toasted pine nuts
  • Chester Mac & Cheese


  • Chocolate Mousse Brownie
  • Carrot Cake

After dinner we enjoyed a superb and deeply moving Broadway Play and it was back to the hotel to pack to leave for home the next day. 

It was a whirlwind couple of pinch-me-I’m-in-a-dream days that I am grateful and truly blessed to have experienced.

When we went to bed that evening, the Empire State Building had changed colors for Christmas!

nutrish new york empire state building red

I don’t have the words to THANK the kind people at Nutrish for this amazing experience. I have been feeding Dakota Nutrish since 2008 (long before he ever had a blog), and I am honored to represent such a philanthropic and superb company!

THANK YOU TO ALL AT NUTRISH FOR THIS INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE! Click on the logo to visit their website

THANK YOU TO ALL AT NUTRISH FOR THIS INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE! Click on the logo to visit their website

If you haven’t had your pup try Nutrish, enjoy this electronic coupon and run out and get some!

nutrish family of products photo

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Rachael Ray Nutrish. All thoughts and opinions are my own.  As always, thank you for reading and supporting our sponsors.


  1. WOw that’s pretty cool. I like how you drew the arrows to the audience. 🙂
    Ruckus the Eskie recently posted…Almost Blinded in the Night!My Profile

  2. Congratulations, sounds like you had a wonderful time. A dream come true; I hope you took lots of pictures so you can relive it as much as you want. I am really thrilled you won and had so much fun:-)
    tylersat99 recently posted…Black and White Sunday – CanMy Profile

  3. Loved reading about your trip Caren! That sounds absolutely amazing! I’m a fan of Rachael Ray also. I wonder if your husband is going to wear pink more often now? That is just too funny!
    Ann Staub recently posted…Amazing Trick Dogs from the Cattle Aussies | Pet Blogger Gift ExchangeMy Profile

  4. May all your dreams come true, starting now.
    Jobi and Fisher recently posted…I Have Lived Long Enough to Know…My Profile

  5. Beautiful trip , seems like you had a lot of fun
    YourSpecialDog recently posted…Black and White MollyMy Profile

  6. Sounds like a wonderful trip. New York is a fab place. I am surprised they didn’t have a private meet and greet with Rachael for the Nutrish guests.
    2 brown dawgs recently posted…Monday Mischief–I Know NothingMy Profile

  7. emma says:

    That is so awesome! We are so happy for your mom because it is obvious how thrilled she was to get that chance! What a great holiday gift for a blogger….well minus that fact that her husband had on that shirt that drew all the attention to himself 😉 Glad you had so much fun with the show and got to see and do other fun stuff! Mom says to tell her that TV is never what you think. She taped the reality show in Sept. They tape about 200 minutes of show and then cut it down to 20 minutes and the segments were all staged and not in the show order either…slightly disheartening, but interesting none the less.
    emma recently posted…Bailie’s Day Out| GBGV | Monday MischiefMy Profile

  8. sara, oreo and chewy says:

    What an awesome experience! You were treated like royalty (as you deserve). How cool that your husband got to go with you too to share in all the fun (seems as though he may have stolen the show).

    It’s funny how famous Rachel Ray is these days. She grew up near me, and used to be on the local news doing cooking segments. She’s come a long way.

    NYC is so much fun! I went to a Ricky Lake show years ago, and really enjoyed the whole experience.

    • Dakota says:

      Oh Sara THANK YOU! That was so incredibly kind! Yeah he did steal the show lol!! OMG She grew up near you? In Lake George? I had seen her old clips from the local news and I used to watch her on 30 Minute Meals when she FIRST started. I have seen everything she has done. That is so cool that you went to Ricky Lake in NYC! I love NYC!
      Dakota recently posted…New York with Rachael Ray Nutrish! A Dream Come True!My Profile

  9. Now that is the stuff that amazing memories are made of….what a experience and we are soooo happy you got to go and have so much fun. Merry Christmas to everyone 🙂
    Reilly & Denny recently posted…Christmas ShoppingMy Profile

  10. What a fantastic experience! I’m not at all surprised that they were so generous. My dealings with them for reviews have always been exceptional! I’m so happy for you because I know how excited you were to be working with them!
    houndstooth recently posted…Letters To Santa 2013 — BunnyMy Profile

  11. What a fun, amazing exeperience. And congrats to the “pink shirt guy” too, I’m so pleased for you both. And sad Dakota didn’t get to go, he would have wowed the crowed. *s* Merry Christmas, my friend!
    Amy Shojai, CABC recently posted…Monday Mentions: Festive-icity & Re-chargingMy Profile

  12. Wow, what an experience! So happy for you 🙂
    Sue at Talking Dogs recently posted…Adopt Clarissa a Black Labrador Retriever Dog in MissouriMy Profile

  13. Wow Caren, what a fun experience. I have always wanted to go to New York, and to do it that way, would be even funner. That must have been so fun to see someone you really admire.

  14. What an awesome and well deserved trip!

  15. Jodi says:

    Whoo Hoo!! Thanks for letting mom take over the blog for this post Dakota. I saw her adventures on Facebook and wondered if she was going to post about her trip.

    It sounds like you had a truly marvelous time! I’ve heard lots of nice things about Rachel, so glad you had the opportunity to meet her.
    Jodi recently posted…Advent Calendar for Dog Lovers Day 23: Clear Conscience PetMy Profile

    • Dakota says:

      Hi Jodi! You are welcome! Of course Mom was gonna blog about it, you just know how SLOW she can be sometimes! BOL! Well, Mom didn’t quite get to meet her “up close and personal” but she was breathing the same air 🙂 Barks and licks and love, Dakota
      Dakota recently posted…New York with Rachael Ray Nutrish! A Dream Come True!My Profile

  16. Ruby says:

    Oh my goodness, that was quite a few days! Rachel Ray AND Mayzie’s mom all in one visit. Sounds like you all received extra special treatment!


  17. Wow! Thank sounds so amazing! Thank you for sharing your awesome trip!

  18. Congratulations! I love visiting New York every chance I get. What an incredible experience for you and your husband! Happy Holidays although I think your Christmas came in November!
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…Monday Mischief Blog HopMy Profile

  19. WOW how very cool for you! I would love to be there just like you were. Sounds like a fabulous time and great pictures!
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Monday Mischief~More Wood HaulingMy Profile

  20. Misaki says:

    That’s so exciting! What a great time you had!
    Misaki recently posted…Bashful’s second dayMy Profile

  21. Jane says:

    What a great experience! I met Rachael Ray at a cookbook signing. She’s beautiful!

    • Dakota says:

      I did too a few years ago. I had forgotten how beautiful she is in person!

  22. Wow! That is super cool! How totally fun! I think I’ll let my hubs know that if he wants to be “hot” he needs to get a pink shirt! 😉
    Jackie Bouchard recently posted…Monday Mischief: Something’s a Little Fishy Around Our Christmas TreeMy Profile

  23. I nominated you for the Blog of the Year award 2013! I hope you win!

  24. That is so cool! What an awesome experience! Thanks for sharing, sounds like a ton of fun!
    Jessica recently posted…Meet the Bloggers: Hello!My Profile

  25. PAWsome. We can picture how excited you are Caren 🙂 Mom loves Rachael Ray too. We watched that segment with Elizabeth H mmm did not noticed you guys. You’ve been a great wonderful Nutrish Ambassador. Golden Happy for you 🙂 Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

    • Dakota says:

      Awww Sugar THANK YOU! Actually if you click on the Butterball video link in the post and watch that video you will see us (super quickly!) Thanks so much for your kind words!!!!! Barks and licks and love, Dakota and Caren

  26. Jen says:

    I’m so glad that you shared about your trip! How fun and special! I bet it went by super fast!
    Jen recently posted…We Wish You A Merry ChristmasMy Profile

  27. Wow!!! Can’t believe u got to go there!!!!!! Awesome!!! Happy holidays and husky hugz!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…OMD! Mondays!My Profile

  28. What an incredible experience Caren, thanks for taking us along with you. I enjoyed every sentence!
    Cathy C. Bennett recently posted…GIVE LOVE ON CHRISTMAS DAYMy Profile

  29. What an awesome post and what an even more pawesome trip!!!! Congrats to you and thank you for sharing!!!! Happy Christmas to you and yours!!!!!

  30. Wow Caren! That sounds like it was an awesome trip…so glad you got to be a part of that and had a great time in NYC! Did you pick out that shirt for your hubby? Oh, and I hope you got to try the Chester Mac and Cheese. It sounds really good and I don’t even know what Chester Mac and Cheese is!

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