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Garten, Ina 1948-

Garten, Ina 1948-

PERSONAL:

Born February 2, 1948, in New York, NY; father a physician, surname Rosenberg; married Jeffrey Garten, December 22, 1968. Education: Syracuse University, graduate.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Barefoot Contessa, 46 Newtown Ln., East Hampton, NY 11937.

CAREER:

Chef, television host, and author. White House Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC, budget analyst, 1974-78; Barefoot Contessa (specialty food store), East Hampton, NY, co-owner, 1978-96; The Barefoot Contessa (cooking show), Food Network, host, 2002—.

WRITINGS:

The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook: Secrets from the Legendary Specialty Food Store for Simple Food and Party Platters You Can Make at Home, photographs by Melanie Acevedo, Clarkson Potter (New York, NY), 1999.

Barefoot Contessa Parties! Ideas and Recipes for Easy Parties That Are Really Fun, photographs by James Merrell, Clarkson Potter (New York, NY), 2001.

Barefoot Contessa Family Style: Easy Ideas and Recipes That Make Everyone Feel Like Family, photographs by Maura McEvoy, Clarkson Potter (New York, NY), 2002.

Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home, photographs by Quentin Bacon, Clarkson Potter (New York, NY), 2004.

Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again, photographs by Quentin Bacon, Clarkson Potter (New York, NY), 2006.

Author of foreword, Stonewall Kitchen Favorites: Delicious Recipes to Share with Family and Friends Every Day, by Jonathan King, Jim Stott, and Kathy Gunst, Clarkson Potter, 2006. Contributor to periodicals, including O, the Oprah Magazine. Author of column "Entertaining Is Fun," Martha Stewart Living Magazine.

SIDELIGHTS:

The popular television host of the cooking show The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten is also known for her cookbooks which stress easy yet delicious recipes that are perfect for small parties with friends. Interestingly, she began her career as a budget analyst for the White House, where she helped prepare budgets concerning the nation's nuclear energy policies. Her love of food, however, led her to buy a specialty food store in East Hampton, New York, in 1978. She kept the original name of the place, which was a nickname given to the previous owner by her Italian family after watching a Humphrey Bogart film. Garten turned the venture into a hugely popular store. She sold it to two of her employees in 1996, and the store later closed in 2003. Garten, however, retained the business name for her Food Network cable show and for a series of best-selling cookbooks.

The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook: Secrets from the Legendary Specialty Food Store for Simple Food and Party Platters You Can Make at Home was released in 1999, stunning its publisher by quickly selling nearly two hundred thousand copies. In keeping with her philosophy, Garten includes simple recipes that include ingredients that are easy to find in any grocery store. Each chapter has a recipe for a platter that can be taken to a party, too.

Garten focused on the party aspect of cooking for her follow-up, Barefoot Contessa Parties! Ideas and Recipes for Easy Parties That Are Really Fun. "Simplicity is the key," she reiterated to Alex Witchel in a New York Times article about the book. "The simpler it is, the more elegant—like a great couturier dress. Eli Zabar was really my mentor in this: all you have to do is cook to enhance the ingredients. With the first book, I was concerned that ‘too simple’ would be the criticism, but women have full lives, careers, families, houses to take care of. When they give a dinner party they're doing all those other things at the same time. I think people feel empowered by these books. It's all about ‘I can do this.’"

Other "Barefoot Contessa" books include Barefoot Contessa Family Style: Easy Ideas and Recipes That Make Everyone Feel Like Family, Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home, and Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again. A Publishers Weekly critic enjoyed the author's style in Barefoot in Paris, where Garten "writes personally in a way that feels genuine." In an interview with Peter Smith for O, the Oprah Magazine after the release of Barefoot Contessa at Home, Garten again talked about her basic philosophy of cooking, saying: "I take familiar things and traditional flavors—and turn the volume up."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 15, 1999, Mark Knoblauch, review of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook: Secrets from the Legendary Specialty Food Store for SimpleFood and Party Platters You Can Make at Home, p. 1497; March 15, 2001, Mark Knoblauch, review of Barefoot Contessa Parties! Ideas and Recipes for Easy Parties That Are Really Fun, p. 1342; October 15, 2002, Mark Knoblauch, "Cuisine Du Jour," p. 373.

Good Housekeeping, November 1, 1999, Catherine Lo, review of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook..

Library Journal, February 15, 2001, Judith Sutton, review of Barefoot Contessa Parties!, p. 194; September 15, 2002, Judith Sutton, review of Barefoot Contessa Family Style: Easy Ideas and Recipes That Make Everyone Feel Like Family, p. 86; October 15, 2004, Judith Sutton, review of Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home, p. 82; October 15, 2006, Judith Sutton, review of Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again, p. 82.

O, the Oprah Magazine, October 1, 2006, Peter Smith, "Dinner at Home: Ina Garten's Idea of Home Cooking: Familiar Recipes Zinged by a Small, Simple Twist That Makes Them Unforgettable," p. 330.

Publishers Weekly, January 15, 2001, review of Barefoot Contessa Parties!, p. 71; September 16, 2002, review of Barefoot Contessa Family Style, p. 65; October 11, 2004, review of Barefoot in Paris, p. 70; October 11, 2004, Lynn Adriani, "Walking the Streets of Paris, sans Shoes," interview with Ina Garten, p. 71; August 21, 2006, review of Barefoot Contessa at Home, p. 64.

Toronto Star, March 31, 2007, Marion Kane, "Love-In for Contessa."

ONLINE

Barefoot Contessa Web site,http://www.barefootcontessa.com (May 17, 2007).

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