Ray, the founder of Villafane Studios, was born in Queens, New York to Reinaldo Villafane and Virginia (Guzman) Villafane. Rayâ€™s hobby of pumpkin sculpting was brought to an entirely new level in 2007 when he was contacted by High Noon Entertainment and asked to participate in the Food Networkâ€™s Challenge Show, Outrageous Pumpkins.
Ray competed as one of four professional pumpkin sculptors, impressed the judges enough to sweep all three rounds and was awarded the Grand Prize. Outrageous Pumpkins logged the highest ratings of any other Challenge episode, and a second invitation was extended to Ray in 2009. They wanted him to come back and defend his title in their Outrageous Pumpkins Challenge II.
Ray defended his 2008 title and took home the 2010 Grand Prize from the Food Networkâ€™s Pumpkin Challenge II. The exposure of Rayâ€™s style, talent and creativity amassed an all-new appreciation for pumpkin â€œcarvingâ€, and his artistic take on the traditional jack-o-lantern has granted him invitations from across the globe for VIP Galleries (Very Impressive Pumpkins). From the Presidentâ€™s Quarters in the White House to Bermudaâ€™s Sousaâ€™s Gardens, Rayâ€™s pumpkins have gathered a cult-like following.