18 Things You Didn’t Know About Ina Garten
Spoiler alert: She’s awesome
A lady who needs no introduction, Ina Garten (aka the Barefoot Contessa, aka all of our life goals rolled into one lovely package) is a force to be reckoned with. And we thought that before we learned all of these cool random facts about her.
1. She has no formal training in cooking.
Everything she knows she taught herself with the help of her massive collection of cookbooks.
2. Her mom didn’t actually want her to cook.
When she was little, Ina wanted to help out in the kitchen, but her mom told her to focus on her schoolwork instead.
3. Her mom was a dietician.
Who considered an apple dessert. (Yeah right.)
4. And above all else she considers herself a cookbook writer who happens to be on TV.
Not the other way around.
5. She wears only one kind of shirt.
And yes, those breezy button-downs are totally custom-made.
6. She worked in the White House.
After getting her MBA at George Washington University, she worked as a budget analyst in the Office of Management and Budget. There, she wrote policy papers on the nuclear energy budget for presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. Impressive.
7. She has the best husband in the world.
You probably already knew that, but it’s worth repeating.
8. She met Jeffrey when she was 15.
She was visiting her brother at Dartmouth, where Jeffrey also went. They were married five years later, when she was 20 and Jeffrey was 22.
9. Jeffrey has disliked only one of Ina’s dishes in nearly 50 years together.
It was fish stew.
10. She bought the Barefoot Contessa store in 1978.
It was 400 square feet and named after the 1954 Ava Gardner movie.
11. She’s never watched herself on TV.
She told Food Network, “I couldn’t possibly. If I watched a show, I don’t think I’d ever do it again.”
12. She loads the dishwasher after every meal.
And Jeffrey takes out the garbage.
13. Her next cookbook comes out in October.
It’s called Cooking for Jeffrey, and yes, we’ve already preordered it.
14. She doesn’t cook for herself.
If she’s alone, she usually just eats fruit, yogurt and granola, or picks up pre-made soup.
15. She watches Homeland.
Big fan of serial dramas.
16. She never wings it.
In an interview with Epicurious, Ina said she follows recipes “to the half teaspoon. I measure everything, because I always think that if I've spent so much time making sure this recipe was exactly the way I want it, why would I want to throw things into a pot? I'm really a scientist."
17. Her favorite meal to prepare is Thanksgiving.
Coincidentally, Thanksgiving is our favorite meal to eat.
18. On top of all of her accomplishments…she has a pilot’s license.
She learned to fly while Jeffrey was deployed in Vietnam. Those four years were also when she discovered her love of cooking and entertaining.