Ina Garten had no idea what she was getting into. In 1978 she was working in the White House Office of Management and Budget thinking "I’ve got to do something more creative with my life." She came across an ad in the New York Times for a specialty food store for sale in the Hamptons and decided to investigate. She and her husband Jeffrey drove to Long Island to see the store and fell in love with it. They had no experience in the food business but Ina knew that it was exactly what she wanted to do. Making the owner a low offer on the spot, she through "I’ll go home and I’d think about it." The owner called the next day and said, “I accept your offer.” And just like that they owned a specialty food store!
Eighteen years later, Barefoot Contessa was a store that was celebrated both for its style and delicious food. In 1996, she sold the store to two employees who continued those traditions. At that point, with nothing to do, she built an office over the store and tried her hand writing a cookbook. The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook was the result of that and turned out to be "the most exciting thing I’ve ever done professionally." The response from readers was absolutely overwhelming. In 2001 she published her second book, Barefoot Contessa Parties! In 2002, Barefoot Contessa Family Style was released, and she started her show on Food Network, also called Barefoot Contessa. In 2004, Barefoot in Paris, about Ina's favorite simple French food was published. And her fifth cookbook Barefoot Contessa at Home, was published in 2006.
Along with her friend and business partner, Frank Newbold, Ina has launched an exciting line of products for breakfast, lunch, and dinner called Barefoot Contessa Pantry that is available for sale in stores throughout North America.
In 2003, the owners of Barefoot Contessa, the food store, decided to close their doors and go on to new adventures. Today Ina continues the traditions and continues building the brand with new cookbooks, new television shows, and lots of delicious products that continue to reflect not only her quality and style, but also her love of entertaining friends and family.
Ina lives in East Hampton and Manhattan with her husband Jeffrey.
Visit Ina's website: http://www.barefootcontessa.com