I met Ina Garten…well, sort of

Ina Book

The mall was alive with excitement as hundreds of stroller pushing and job skipping people gathered in line around the small store.  They weren’t trying to take advantage of preholiday sales.  Or even clamoring buy the latest release of yet another “finger licking good” gizmo by Apple.  This mass mayhem was for the launch and book signing of Ina Garten’s new cookbook called Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics.

Ina Book 2

Brent and I decided to make the nearly 5 hour trek from Pittsburgh to the suburbs of Philadelphia to meet our beloved Food Network idol.  We both watch her show faithfully, and I own every single one of her cookbooks.  So it was fitting we would be crazy enough to drive such a distance to wait in line for three hours, have a two second interaction, watch her scribble her name and move on.  Ina was radiant and her laugh was as intoxicating in person as it is on her show.  She made a point to say hello to each and every person that walked past her small table.  Something that easily could have been overlooked given the assembly line fashion the book signing was organized.

Her new book is written in classic Ina style.  The food photos are to die for as the colors are so vibrant; you just want to lick the food right off the page.   It is also filled with great tips, hints and helpful suggestions on how to bring the best flavors out of great ingredients.  Similar to her books in the past, the recipes are extremely easy and full of flavor.

Ina Book 3

The trip was a ton of fun.  We took advantage of our mall surroundings by visiting a two-story Crate and Barrel, HomeGoods, and Pottery Barn Outlet.  All were favorite destinations in Chicago, now sadly missed because they are nowhere near Pittsburgh.  Best of all, I was able to cash in on some great deals for new plates and props for the blog.  I have no doubt they will be making their appearance in future posts.

Good times…Great Experiences…and Flavorful Memories


  1. Gina Dale says

    I just thought I’d add that you can buy the Barefoot Contessa books directly from Ina’s website and she will inscribe your name in the book, in addition to signing it. Which in my opinion makes it even better!

  2. says

    We met Ina in E.A.T. (Eli Zabar’s luncheonette), in Manhattan last year.
    She was sitting next to us, having lunch in her mink coat.
    She was so gracious and engaging and beautiful.
    She has always been my favorite cookbook author/chef.
    She truly is a nice person, not only talented!

  3. Peter says

    well i like her recipes. but what a nice life she has. she doesn’t have to see her husband till the weekend. she lives in the hamptons. She is surrounded by gay men. LOL The only thing i don’t like is that awkward laughter, constantly!! She does however put rachel ray to shame. she is a true talent

  4. yummyhealthylove says

    I love Ina. She never seems to be making anything healthy, but she and her husband always look so happy. You just want to hug her. I met Bobby Flay yesterday at a taping of Throw Down in New York…even talked to him for a few minutes. It was very exciting. He’s very nice in person!

  5. Brandon says

    Wow, the fact that there are no Pottery Barns, Crate & Barrels, or HomeGoods near Pittsburgh makes it even more unbelievable that you guys moved there! LOL I would have thought that was a deal-breaker for Brent.
    Who took your picture with Ina?
    B :0)

  6. says

    When Ina came to my town a few years ago, I completely drooled all over her when it finally came time to meet her. I am so glad I get the chance to redeem myself in a few weeks.

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