"I wish I could be as thin as Jessica Simpson," Ray, 40, told PEOPLE while hosting the Amstel Light Burger Bash at Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Thursday night. "I think she looks gorgeous!"
The Emmy-award winning TV host looked pretty hot herself as she made the rounds in a tent erected behind the Ritz Carlton in a short black sheath.
"I have had Jessica on my show several times, and I can tell you that girl is genuine and funny with a great self-deprecating sense of humor," Ray added. "All of the hoopla about her weight was because of the fit of her jeans. In reality, she is a tiny, slip of a woman."
Ray is spending the weekend in South Beach with her husband John Cusimano, 41, whose band, The Cringe, will entertain Wine & Food guests at the Hotel Victor Friday night.
About two dozen chefs from across the country competed to grill up the best burgers, but the title went to former Top Chef contender Spike Mendelsohn.
Summer Lovin'The couple, who will celebrate their fourth wedding anniversary in September, also revealed to PEOPLE that their summer plans include cooking and dining in front of their outdoor fireplace at home in the Adirondack Mountains.
"We will take our boat to Lake George a few times, and maybe hang out at the rodeo near our house," said Cusimano. "We also love to play with our dog Isaboo who even sleeps with us."
But for their actual anniversary, the couple will return to Tuscany where they were married. "We always go back to celebrate our anniversary," says Ray. "We love to take the trip, and It keeps our romance alive."