Why Rachael Ray Still Doesn’t Like Wearing a Dress and High Heels

Television personality Rachael Ray recently released her latest cookbook, celebrating a milestone birthday and decades of culinary creations. With her hit syndicated talk show and a reboot of her Food Network program 30 Minute Meals, Ray remains a fan favorite for her down-to-earth nature and relatable charm.

Even with her obvious success, Ray remains humble and true to her working-class roots. Never one to go for the glam, the culinary icon still prefers to keep things casual whether it has to do with her kitchen or her wardrobe.

Rachael Ray | David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Relatable Ray

Despite creating her own culinary empire that includes a namesake magazine and an annual music and food festival, Ray is modest about her success and gives much of the credit to her family, from whom she developed her passion to cook. “I grew up in industrial kitchens. My mom was one of ten kids. Our family was always in the kitchen,” she said, according to CBS News.

Family is a focus in her latest book “Rachael Ray 50: Memories and Meals from a Sweet and Savory Life – A Cookbook,” where Ray draws upon experiences she learned on the job in the food industry. The talk show host says she’s “a waitress in my heart and a cook in my soul” due to her years of working in kitchens. As for fancy titles, Ray eschews them. “I’m a cook, not a chef.”

The culinary mogul’s down-to-earth vibe makes her exceptionally relatable to audiences, often sharing how she learned her values through hard work and service. “I think that everybody should have to be a dishwasher. I think that everybody should learn how to take an order and serve people, you know?” Ray said. “It’s very humbling, and I think it’s the luckiest thing that ever happened to me that I was born into that industry.”

Still humble after all these years

Even with her long list of achievements and assets, Ray remains humble, almost as if she still doesn’t know what all the fuss is about. The Food Network star still grapples with being on the small screen.

“The television thing is a very weird happening for me, and certainly not anything I planned for. I don’t know that I thought I wasn’t worthy of it,” she told NPR last month. “I just thought, well, that’s not me. That’s for other people… I serve people. I’m the service person. I wait on people that are on TV. I’m not on TV. And, you know, that’s what I told Food Network. But they said I was wrong, and come on back and sit down. So I did.”

Not one for vanity

Another reason Ray is such a fan fave is most likely due to her authenticity. Self-deprecating rather than vain, Ray still struggles with the idea of fame and the glam and scrutiny that go along with it. “Every time I put high heels on and I have to go somewhere in a dress, I feel uncomfortable,” she revealed. “I’m not supposed to be at the party. I don’t want people looking at my body or what I chose to wear that day. I don’t care who made my shoes. I just don’t. And so I can’t be something that I’m not. It’s the truth.”

She takes that approach when interviewing guests, making it a priority to put them at ease. “I don’t really want to know who you’re sleeping with unless I’m that person,” Ray explained. “But I am interested in your favorite flavor of ice cream. Other kooky, weird party skills or tricks that you know. Can you juggle? What’s your favorite color? Like, stuff you would just say to somebody you’re getting to know at a regular party.” 

The cookbook author shared a lesson she learned from her grandfather that she holds to this day. “There’s plenty in life that you have no control over that you will cry about. Certainly your vanity should never be one of them, you know?”

Ray’s latest cookbook is on sale now!