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Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson serves up the best info and tips on Northwest food, cooking, dining and restaurants.

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August 11, 2008 8:26 AM

This wild boar ragu is . . .Hey! Isn't that Rachael Ray?

Posted by Nancy Leson

Karen Wood wrote, wondering:

"After reading your blog about celebrity sightings, inquiring minds want to know why Rachael Ray was at Volterra last week. I was there for dinner, and just as my friend and I were getting up to leave, Rachael Ray walked in with a crew of people and cameras. We didn't stay to find out, but are curious what they were filiming and too embarassed to call the restaurant since we didn't ask that night."

Ka-REN! You missed the fun part by not lingering over a limoncello:



Volterra's Michelle Quisenberry was (surprise!) more than happy to divulge the details. She says Rach and her handsome husband John Cusimano were here to film an upcoming episode of "Rachael's Travels," set to run before the end of the year on the Food Network. Volterra had already been featured on her CBS talk show in January 2007, and America's Ray of sunshine liked the restaurant so well she called it her Seattle "favorite." You can watch her swooning over chef Don Curtiss's wild boar with gorgonzola sauce in this video clip.

Michelle, who's spent a fair time lately rubbing elbows with the rich and famous, also sent along this photo of Rach and John, posing outside Volterra with Michelle and Don. Coinkydinkly, both couples were married in Tuscany, so they had plenty to talk about other than Volterra's Fennel Salt and Rachael Ray's E.V.O.O.:



It's a shame you didn't hang out a little longer, Karen. After filming, the popular multimedia star treated her crew to dinner at the restaurant, where they had a chance to relax over food and drink. Rachael was exceedingly sweet to patrons who approached her, says Michelle, graciously posing for photos with some of them.

Which makes me feel a little badly about giving Rach the business in this column for posing on a box of Ritz, among umpteen other products:



For the record: I've since been pleased to note that my box o' Ritz -- now being relentlessly promoted by NBC throughout the televised Olympics -- is presently devoid of Rachael Ray's pretty punim:




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