When you pick up an Ina Garten cookbook or watch an episode of Barefoot Contessa, you might not realize how much work goes into creating the recipes, testing them and finally proclaiming them good enough to share. All of Ina’s recipes go through a rigorous testing period until they’re perfect, as the writer and TV host explains. Even Jeffrey has to wait until a recipe’s perfect before he can get a taste!
Thinking about Ina’s life story, it may seem like a stretch of the imagination that she went from writing nuclear policy in the White House to writing cookbooks in her Long Island home, but it happened. Despite the difference in subject, both lines of work require precision. But cooking goes a bit further, as it requires that something extra — the secret ingredient, if you will. And Ina has that. She says it’s just in her DNA. The rest is history: She didn’t attend cooking school or learn from a grandmother, but she picked up skills out of necessity while running her specialty food store, Barefoot Contessa. It started out as a way to try a new career and ended up giving her her well-known moniker. Would she have it any other way? Not really.
FN Dish recently chatted with Ina about her new series, Cooking for Jeffrey, her recently released cookbook and her Washington, D.C., special. Find out more about the elegant and earthy hostess in our interview.