Fairchild Photo Service/Corbis
April 16, 2015

It was five years ago that I first heard of Ina Garten from my friend Lily Aldridge, a jet-setting model and new wife, who told me she’d found the perfect fish recipe that she could make in only 15 minutes in a Barefoot Contessa cookbook. The next day, I went out and bought one. I learned Ina had been a young wife who taught herself to cook after her new husband Jeffrey returned from fighting in the Vietnam War. She later studied business at George Washington University and worked in the White House on nuclear-energy policy. In 1978 she opened a specialty food store in the Hamptons, which she ran for nearly two decades before making the jump to television and cookbooks. As soon as I started watching Ina’s show, I realized why so many people adore her. Her goal is to make things easier for us. Fans love her warmth and generosity. She shows us how to create memories that we’ll treasure for years to come. For that, we will always cherish the merry and magnificent Ina Garten.

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