A conversation with the Barefoot Contessa

Ina Garten cookbooks

Ina Garten is one of America's most beloved food personalities, and holds the #11 and #14 positions in the EYB Library for most popular cookbooks (for The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics). Her relaxed, approachable personality has allowed her to reach a varied audience, many of whom learned to cook through her shows and books. Her new program, Cook Like a Pro, premiered just over a month ago on the Food Network. Recently, Time Magazine caught up with the always-busy Barefoot Contessa to discuss wide a variety of topics

Even though Ina routinely offers the practical and reassuring advice that "store bought is fine", there is one ingredient that she does not recommend you purchase from the store: grated Parmesan. In addition to eschewing the cheese that comes in a green plastic bottle, the Contessa also avoids cilantro. "I just won't go near it," she says. When asked what she found to be the most challenging recipe she's ever encountered, Ina replied "I've been working on Boston cream pie for about three books, and I haven't gotten the balance and flavors and textures quite right."

She also provided her thoughts on the Amazon takeover of Whole Foods, opining that delivering good, fresh food to people's homes is a difficult endeavor. Ina does think the concept is good, because the more people have access to quality food, the more they will cook. Read the full conversation to learn more, including which people the consummate host would invite to her ultimate fantasy dinner party. 

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