In 1978, Ina Garten found herself
working in the White House on nuclear energy policy and
thinking, "There's got to be more to life than this!"
She saw an ad for a small food store for sale in a place
she'd never been - East Hampton, located at the end of Long
Island. She and her husband drove up to investigate and
made the owner an offer on the spot. Two months later she
found herself the owner of Barefoot Contessa, a 400-sq.-ft.
specialty food store with employees.
Twenty years later, Barefoot Contessa grew to a 3,000-sq.-ft.
food emporium where 20 cooks and bakers prepared the food,
while 25 more employees worked in the store helping thousands
of customers to choose breads, salads, dinners, and baked
goods to take home. In 2001, Ina sold the store to her employees,
but she continues her association with Barefoot Contessa
in a variety of ways.
In 1999, Ina wrote her first book, The
Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, which was one of the
best selling cookbooks of the year. The book shares the
recipes that made her specialty food store a success. In
2001, Ina followed with best-selling Barefoot
Contessa Parties!, in which she invites readers
into her home and shares her ideas and recipes for having
parties that are fun for all -- including the host. Her
follow-up cookbook, Barefoot
Contessa Family Style, contains easy recipes to
make everyone feel like family. In 2004, Ina published her
fourth book, Barefoot in Paris, in which she reinvents
the classics of French cuisine, looking to her favorite
spots in Paris to inspire an all-new collection of easy-to-prepare
Ina’s popluar TV series, Barefoot Contessa,
airs regularly on the Food Network. She has also been a
columnist for Martha Stewart Living Magazine and her food
and entertaining are regularly featured in O, the Oprah
magazine. Ina lives in East Hampton, New York and Southport,
Connecticut with her husband Jeffrey, who is Dean of the
Yale School of Management.