Ina Garten can cook anything. The cookbook author and Food Network star has proven that time and time again on her show, The Barefoot Contessa, where she effortlessly whips up ratatouilles and goat cheese-filled tarts. However, there’s at least one dish that she can cook, but would prefer not to undertake.
“There are so many dishes I love to make at home,” she told Today. “But there are some things I just don’t make at home. I order them in restaurants, like cassoulet. Things that take, like, days to make and they’re so good.”
Garten, who spends a great deal of time in Paris and frequently posts about her favorite Parisian dishes on Instagram, is well aware of how difficult it is to make a proper cassoulet, which combines duck confit, white beans, and sausage painstakingly prepared over a number of days. “They have a whole team of people to help them,” she said in defense of ordering the dish in restaurants. “And it’s just me.”
Besides, Garten is a long-time defender of store-bought items. “If there’s something that you can buy in a grocery store that you don’t need to make yourself, like, say, vanilla Haagen Dazs, don’t make it yourself. Go buy it,” she told Today. “There’s great bread available, artisan bread. You want really good ingredients. But if you can [buy] Rao’s tomato sauce, why make a marinara yourself? It’s really delicious.”
Instead of spending her time cooking cassoulet or making her own vanilla ice cream, Garten can wander the streets of Paris with her beloved husband Jeffrey, eat a cassoulet at a bistro, and go back to schooling Megan Markle on the art of cooking chicken fit for a prince.