The five-week run of Rachael vs Guy Celebrity Cook-Off helped deliver the highest-rated month in Food Network history in the US. ©AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ

(Relaxnews) – A record number of viewers tuned into the the Food Network last month, in large part due to a new celebrity cook-off show hosted by food TV personalities Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri.

The series premiere of Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off helped attract a network average of 1.4 million viewers to the cable channel, up 25 percent from the same period last year, to make the month of January the highest-rated, most-watched month on the Food Network in the US.

The show starred lesser-known and forgotten celebrities like former teen idol Aaron Carter, actor Lou Diamond Phillips, and rapper Coolio, and challenged celebrity teams to cooking throwdowns in the name of charity.

Since debuting New Year’s Day, the series averaged 1.3 impressions or views among adults aged 25 to 54 over its five-week run.

Tapping into celebrity wattage — in varying degrees of fame — is a popular strategy for food shows to attract coveted ratings.

VH1’s Famous Food also generated buzz when it debuted last year for putting together a motley crew of D-list celebrities and personalities together under the guise of opening a restaurant. The roster included reality TV star Heidi Montag of The Hills, Danielle Staub of The Real Housewives of New Jersey and Ashley Dupré, the former call girl at the center of a prostitution scandal that brought about the downfall of former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.