Two years ago, I stood in line for many hours all for the opportunity to meet Ina Garten during a signing for her cookbook Back to Basics. Well, now she has a new book out (How Easy Is That?), and of course, that meant she was back in town to meet and greet the fans yet again. Like the devotee that I am, I trekked on back to Santa Monica and stood in line for two hours with seemingly every housewife and her daughter in the Los Angeles county environs. Luckily, I wasn’t alone this time: my friend Andrea — a fellow Ina fiend — joined up with me, and together we got to assault Ina with our praise and adoration. Of course, we really wanted to tell her to fix her damn show, but that would have been rude, and who can be rude to Ina? She’s just this wonderful little ball of giggles and joy! Barbara Lieberman on the other hand…

Anyway, after the jump are some pics from my second and Andrea’s first interaction with The Barefoot Contessa…

I didn’t bother taking pictures of the line this year because it was rather unremarkable. I only busted out the camera when we got inside Williams-Sonoma where the signing was taking place…

I tried to take a picture of Ina from afar, but these girls were busy posing. I decided to take a pic of them instead to symbolize the feminine frenzy taking place.

Through the teeming bodies, a glimpse of Ina is caught!

Blurry, yes, but note the joy on both Ina’s face and the girl in the foreground. We were ALL like that. Especially me when I encountered Ina’s assistant Barbara. I couldn’t help myself: “You’re from the show!” I blurted out. She was so sweet and clasped my hands as if to say “There, there. Calm yourself down.” Seriously though, Barbara is the unheralded and overlooked star of Ina’s sidekicks (and NO, I’m not referencing Barbara Lieberman).

Ina signs her umpteenth copy. She’s a machine.

My last hand-held pic of Ina. After this shot, I had to turn my camera over to a Williams-Sonoma employee who would then take pictures of us with Ina.

Here are Andrea and I talking to Ina, telling her how much we love her, and how we do Barefoot Contessa potlucks. Ina was amused, but she wasn’t nearly as engaging as when I first met her. She was sweet but all business.

Meanwhile, Andrea and I were so desperate to ingratiate ourselves into Ina’s world that we forgot to turn around and smile for the camera.

I think Andrea told Ina she loved her about thirty times.

And then I told Ina I loved her about thirty times.

Soon we were quietly pushed to the side.

But we kept talking.

All in all, it was exciting to meet Ina again. It was much faster than last time — an interaction of thirty seconds tops. Last time I felt like it was a minute, and I also felt like I had more of her attention. I felt bad for Andrea that she didn’t get more face time with Ina, but hey, maybe in two years she’ll be back. We still love her regardless. Perhaps too much…

7 replies on “Second Meeting With Ina Garten Proves To Be Short and Sweet”

  1. I feel your pain.
    I had a Ina let down experience of my own….when her first cookbook came out, the recipe for Rorie’s potato chips was missing the oven temp. Well, I think that Ina’s email was listed in the book, either that or I was in a strong stalker mode, anyway, I emailed her to ask for the temp and sure enough she emailed me!!!! We emailed back and forth just a couple of times. Gosh darn it, the next time I emailed her, some assistant responded! I was thrown to the side! Ina got too big for me:(

    1. Whoochile, that story almost just made me cry. I can’t imagine emailing with Ina and then being thrown out in the cold! That is so sad.

      1. my friend is soured on ina–he sent her a letter asking where her copper fire pit was from because he was looking for something similar, and she couldnt even bother to respond.


        (not for me though, i love her)

  2. The Bare Foot contessa does not tarnish Her lustre will never fade.
    She was, and is, and is to come.

    Sandra Dee, well she never had Luster.

  3. This post made me giggle, only because last week we had a Barefoot Contessa cooking contest at my office. Everyone one who entered had to pick one of her recipes and we had a panel of judges and everything! I totally thought of you while I was helping to plan the event, and how much fun you would have had.

  4. I (heart) Ina and want to be her when I grow up. She never comes to Michigan – we are too rural for her so consider yourself lucky for the face time you did get. I am VERY jealous!

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