The Family Member Rachael Ray Credits For Her Confidence

When you hear the name Rachael Ray the words "warm" and "relatable" often follow. Ray is one of the most beloved and respected celebrity chefs. Her positive and humble attitude makes her a favorite with those of us who may be culinarily challenged, while Ray's easy-going and accessible cooking style keeps sus watching her Food Network show which recently celebrated its 2,500th episode. And boy do we watch, just to glean all of her tips and tricks to make yummy 30-minute meals. 

Per her Food Network bio, Ray has always had the cooking gene. "Everyone on both sides of my family cooks," she explained. She has shared with fans that it was her mom who stirred up her love for cooking. She also detailed one of her first cooking experiences, saying, "My first vivid memory is watching my mom in a restaurant kitchen. She was flipping something with a spatula. I tried to copy her and ended up grilling my right thumb! I was 3 or 4." Thankfully, that spatula-flipping mishap did not deter Ray. But if her mom was her cooking inspiration, what family member has kept her so grounded and confident in the competitive fishbowl of cooking and entertainment that she swims in?

Rachael Ray's Sicilian Grandfather gave her confidence

During an NPR interview about her book, Rachael Ray 50: Memories and Meals From a Sweet and Savory Life, Ray said that her Sicilian grandfather gets the credit for both her love of Italian food and teaching her an important lesson that may explain her ability to remain humble but confident in pretty much any situation. In the book, Ray talks about her first day of school, her lunch, which happened to be a not-so-sweet-smelling sardine sandwich, and how it turned into a traumatic day that reduced her to tears. 

Ray told NPR, "So I came home that day being the stinky girl in the funny clothes with the funny shoes. And I said, I'm never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever going back to school, ever, ever, ever again. And I was crying. You know, that kind of choking crying, where you sound like a gasping seal or sea lion or something?" If you have kids, you just know.

But what could have just ended as another stinky fish tale didn't end that way at all. Instead, her grandfather imparted these sage words: "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 said that life lesson has stayed with her throughout her famed career.