The setting of Ina Garten’s new show, Be My Guest With Ina Garten, is nearly as critical as her cooking skills. The renowned kitchen whiz has turned inward for her next venture, bringing celebrities into her home to talk about food and life as they wander her culinary dream world. Boasting lush gardens and a state-of-the-art kitchen, Garten’s home is everything you might imagine from the Barefoot Contessa host.
Continue reading for more about where Ina Garten lives and why a TV legend called her the “new Barbara Walters.”
Ina Garten’s home is a luxurious and peaceful retreat
Garten’s house in East Hampton, New York, includes many personal touches. Along with her husband, Jeffrey, the 74-year-old Food Network star transformed a typical Hamptons-style property through unique elements to fit their personalities. The centerpiece is a stunning garden of verdant seclusion, complete with a perfectly captured design by Martha Stewart’s landscape designer.
But more than a sprawling bit of eye candy, the garden also boasts a world-class vegetable section studded with carrots and tomatoes. They’re items you would expect for a culinary star who has written a dozen cookbooks. Having a large garden was a lifelong dream for Ina Garten. But turning it into a reality required a sales pitch to her reluctant neighbors.
According to Distractify, Garten lobbied for a decade before her neighbors agreed to sell the extra space she needed to create her masterpiece.
Also on the property is a farmhouse that holds Garten’s enormous test kitchen and studio. It’s where she has commuted to work for more than 15 years and filmed Barefoot Contessa for Food Network.
Complete with a Sub-Zero fridge and room for two assistants, the space is essentially Garten’s office, where she tries out new recipes.
“It’s just beyond my wildest dreams,” she told Oprah Daily. “Every day, I walk in here and think, ‘I can’t believe I work here.’”
Ina Garten took a big gamble to start her food career
Long before she was a Food Network staple and bestselling cookbook author, Ina Garten was a government worker who badly wanted a career change. In an impulse decision, a 30-year-old Garten reached for the dream. She bought the Barefoot Contessa in Westhampton, New York, in 1978. It wasn’t exactly an instant success.
“This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever done,” she recalled telling her husband in a 2017 interview.
But Garten overcame initial struggles and ultimately thrived. Eventually, she moved the business from Westhampton to East Hampton and earned a reputation for high quality. According to Martha Stewart, Hollywood legends such as Lauren Bacall and Steven Spielberg were regulars.
Building on the prestige of the Barefoot Contessa store, Garten jumped into publishing with The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. It helped turn her into a nationally known culinary celebrity. After following up with a series of other cookbooks, Food Network persuaded Garten to host the Barefoot Contessa series. It lasted for nearly 300 episodes from 2002 to 2020.
Building on the success of Barefoot Contessa, Be My Guest With Ina Garten is a combination of the old and the new.
While a food-centric half-hour version of the show appears on Food Network, the hour-long version for discovery+ takes viewers behind the scenes as Garten chats with a new guest each episode. Although food is a feature of every episode, Garten touches on topics beyond cooking as guests peruse her East Hampton home from her.
Kicking off the series, the guest star was three-time Emmy winner Julianna Margulies. The actor made such a connection with Garten that they both ended up in tears. According to USA Today, Margulies even compared the host to Barbara Walters for Garten’s ability to get people to open up.
Though Garten deflected the comparison to the legendary 20/20 host, Food Network and discovery+ are counting on Garten’s natural likability to win over guests and viewers.
Be My Guest With Ina Garten debuted on March 26. It has already been picked up for an additional season, with filming slated to start later in the year. Fans can also pick up her from her 13th cookbook, Go-To Dinners, later this year. It’s already available for pre-order on her site from her, Barefoot Contessa.
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