Monday, December 22, 2008

At Home With the Contessa

One can’t help but approach Food Network cook Ina Garten’s house with a certain set of expectations: that she’ll welcome you with a smile and probably a laugh, serve you something made with herbs from her garden and graciously invite you to sit and stay a while.

And, upon entering the barn/studio adjacent to her East Hampton home, some of those expectations are fulfilled. She is smiling and there is an appealing coffee cake on the countertop. Only the coffee cake is from a local mom-and-pop bakery. And the sun shines brightly on the garden out back, but look closely and you’ll see its fruit on this autumn day is a tad neglected. What’s going on?

Well first of all, Garten is human. And lately, she has just been too busy. In October she filmed 12 new episodes of her show, “Barefoot Contessa,” and devoted the last six weeks to a nationwide press tour promoting her latest cookbook “Back to Basics” (her sixth). So she can’t really be blamed for a few wrinkled tomatoes.

“I love my life, I love writing books, I love doing TV,” she says, sitting at her rustic wooden dining table. “But sometimes I get so involved in my work I forget how much I enjoy running around and getting flowers, making dinner for [my husband] Jeffrey.”

It’s this running around tony East Hampton, as depicted on “Barefoot Contessa” — Garten zipping around in her convertible black BMW, visiting with friendly florists and butchers — that attracts viewers. But unlike other popular Food Network hosts, you won’t see Garten developing an eponymous line of pots and pans or participating in panels on the food festival circuit. In spite of her aforementioned busy fall schedule, she does the best she can to maintain a life outside of work.

You can read the article in it's entirety at I love Ina!

1 comment:

Brie said...

Me too! I just got her new cookbook - it's great. She makes great food and coctails too!