The Heartbreaking Reason Ina Garten Didn't Think She Would Make It On Food Network

Ina Garten has certainly built an empire for herself. The Barefoot Contessa has gone from owning a small store in the Hamptons for 18 years to writing 13 cookbooks — including her newest, "Go-To Dinners" — to having her very own long-running TV show on Food Network, which has been on the air since 2002.

Garten's career longevity must be at least somewhat due to her large collection of fans, many of whom have taken to Google to write reviews of "Barefoot Contessa" and share with Garten just how much she has impacted their lives. One such fan, Jo Wright, wrote, "I watch this show all the time; not only does she make wonderful meals that can be easily cooked at home; I just love her attitude and how relaxed she is when she is cooking."

But "Barefoot Contessa" might have never seen the light of day had it not been for Garten taking a leap of courage and stepping outside of her comfort zone to appear on the Food Network show. The celebrity chef originally didn't think she would succeed on the air for a heartbreaking reason.

Garten didn't think she was 'sexy' enough for TV

In a recent interview with Chris Wallace on CNN's "Who's Talking to Chris Wallace?" Garten admitted she was more than reluctant to appear on television when the Food Network first approached her about doing a show. "I said 'lose my number,'" Garten described her initial response to the offer. "I didn't think that anybody would want to watch me on TV. I didn't know what they saw," Garten continued, stating that it was then the "era of Nigella Lawson on TV and she was so sexy ... I just said, 'that's not who I am.'"

Even today, after over 10 years of filming, Garten says she never watches her own show. "I sometimes watch it for content but it's just painful! It's just painful. I couldn't even tell you what I'm most critical about — it's everything!" Garten told HuffPost. Sounds like the Barefoot Contessa could benefit from reading some of her own positive reviews!