LisaRaye McCoy may be many things, but shy is not one of them. Right away she had me laughing. Her energy was refreshing and I felt her hustle spirit as she fit me in between appointments.
Food is a love and cooking is a passion for the actress and mom. It is a struggle to keep that perfect size for Hollywood, but she makes soul food healthily. Depriving herself of good food is not high on the priority list.
Born and raised in Chicago, McCoy got her beauty and brains honestly. With a father in business and a mother who was a model, McCoy was brought up with an intense work ethic. She followed in her mother’s footsteps by modeling early in her career. Since debuting in the hit ‘90s hit comedy series “Martin,” her career has been steady through the years.
Outside the kitchen, McCoy is just as passionate about education. She works on a mentoring campaign with Al Sharpton to help youth find their way through education. She attended Easter Illinois University herself and is a strong advocate for higher education.
In order to stay relevant, maintaining a “fine and fit” physique has been an imperative key to McCoy’s longevity. Her on-camera and off-camera personas are different. “When I am not taping, I like to be a healthy size 8. When I am filming, I have to maintain a curvy size 6,” she shares. Living and working in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, fitness is a cornerstone to success. Cooking organic and lean has been the trick for staying camera ready.
“Having my daughter motivated me to cook. My mom always had a hot breakfast for us growing up and is what I wanted to do for my daughter,” says McCoy. She has evolved from just a hot breakfast to elaborate New Orleans style soul food holiday dinners. This holiday season, McCoy is retiring her mother from the kitchen. “Mom will sit down and be served,” she says playfully.
This year, McCoy will prepare cornish game hens, mac and cheese, yams, greens and black eye peas for good fortune. “The most important part about the holidays are being together,” McCoy emphasizes. She enjoys cooking and entertaining for her family. Her special dish is chicken dumplings. “I flatten the dough, cut the squares, break out the baking power…I make everything from scratch.”
Whether it is on set, in the kitchen, or in a classroom, LisaRaye is as genuine as they come. She certainly is the real McCoy.