Bergen County’s Jeanette Donnarumma is the senior culinary producer of Emmy Award-winning daytime talk show “Rachael Ray,” which just snagged the award for Outstanding Informative Talk Show in May. Onset, Donnarumma is affectionately called the watermelon diva by her colleagues for her famed watermelon shark creation. This inventive dish stemmed from an idea she drummed up for a Shark Week party and had everyone gushing. Here, we sink our teeth into this beloved summertime treat, perfect for your outdoor table.


Serves 8 people


  • 1 oblong seeded watermelon
  • 2 red grapes, peeled

Your favorite fruits for fruit salad, such as pineapple, cantaloupe and honeydew, chopped or cut into fish shapes


On a cutting board, cut off the bottom 1/4-1/3 (depending on size) of the watermelon on an angle. Stand the watermelon up on the cut surface, making sure it is steady. Find the midpoint of the watermelon at the top and draw a line marking where the top of the mouth will be. Mark another line below it, to make the bottom of the mouth opening. Using a paring knife, cut along the lines and pull out the mouthpiece. Reserve.

Scoop out all flesh out of the watermelon, leaving a gap at the bottom, so that the fruit salad doesn’t fall out.

One inch above the top and bottom of the mouth, score a line and scrape off all green skin to show the white rind. Carve small triangles into the top and bottom of the mouth to form shark teeth.

From reserved mouthpiece or from bottom, cut out a triangle and attach it to the back of the shark to make a fin with two toothpicks. Stick a toothpick in the grape and put it on both sides of the sharks head to make eyes.

Fill with fruit and serve.