How easy is that?

apple pie ina garten

In the summer of 2004, my mother had a kidney transplant, and I spent the summer at home with her, hanging out, making sure she felt okay, taking her to appointments, and doing a lot of cooking. We would pile up in bed together and watch episode after episode of 30 Minute MealsEveryday Italian, and Barefoot Contessa, then often shop for and make the recipes we had just seen. I had grown up in a family that enjoyed food, and I began learning to cook as early as the age of 7, but I often think of this summer as the one that cemented my decision to attend culinary school after university.

As years went on and I developed my own approach to food and cooking, I actually found I didn’t enjoy watching cooking shows as much, but my love for Barefoot Contessa never wavered. There was always something so refreshing, organic, and honest about it, for me at least. Yesterday, Eater published a long feature about Ina and Jeffrey Garten, and I thought it was a joy to read. It also made me realize what it was I’ve always loved about her and her show — she has a unique ability to maintain singular focus, know herself, and to say no. What a gift! One of the traits I most admire in others is such a strong, confident sense of self, and it was interesting to read more about Ina’s background, her career path, and her ability to hone in on what she really enjoys doing (and to be able to say, “Screw the rest.”). We live in a culture that’s always trying to convince us that we should want more and be on to the next thing already, so I found it really refreshing to read about someone so successful who found their bliss (in cookbook writing!) and hasn’t felt the need for the “so much more.”

Consider this an early Week/End link — I felt like I had more to say about this article, so I wanted to post about it singularly. I hope you enjoy the piece too; I think you will, especially if you enjoy Ina’s show and her cookbooks! You can check it out here (also, this extra little tidbit with the writer is gold!).


Image: Photographer: Caroline Whiting   •   Designer: Tyson Whiting


  1. 10.1.15
    Maria Fernanda said:

    Hi Victoria!

    Thank you for sharing that personal story with us. And I agree 100%. Sometimes, it’s ok to not be striving for the next big thing.

    xo from Puerto Rico

  2. 10.1.15
    sonya said:

    Thank you for sharing! I love Ina’show, her expertise, and her career path and career are very interesting! I met her at a cookbook signing about 6 years ago. She was so lovely and warm in person.

  3. 10.1.15

    I’ve been watching Food Network since the Two Fat Ladies were on there (i.e a LONG time) – and I have to say that Ina is my most favorite person. She’s genuine, keeps it real when it comes to her food and personality, and she is just a joy to watch. I’ve never made anything of hers that didn’t taste good. She did a great interview on America’s Test Kitchen’s podcast a while ago that is worth listening to as well! Thanks for sharing the article!

  4. 10.3.15
    Kelly said:

    I heart Ina!!! She’s the best. Thanks for sharing this great article :)

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