Celebrated for her accessible yet elegant approach to food, Ina Garten – affectionately known as the “Barefoot Contessa” – has become a culinary icon, emphasizing fresh, high-quality ingredients and inspiring home chefs around the globe. Born in Brooklyn, she left a government career in Washington to buy a specialty food shop in New York in the late ’70s, eventually transforming it into a beloved East Hampton institution and blockbuster lifestyle brand.
Garten shot to fame with the release of her bestselling cookbooks, including The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and Barefoot in Paris, which encapsulate her signature blend of simple yet sophisticated dishes. In 2002 she launched her eponymous Food Network series, a ratings juggernaut that lasted 29 seasons and averaged a million viewers per episode. Garten’s continued to share her expertise and passion for cooking and entertaining on the Discovery+ show Be My Guest, where she invites famous friends into her home for food and conversation.
Often asked for cookbook recommendations, Garten has a “quirky assortment of classics and personal favorites” posted on the Barefoot Contessa site. From Julia Child’s groundbreaking approach to French cooking to the recipes behind iconic California cheesemaker Cowgirl Creamery, explore her reading list below. Check out the bookshelves of other celebrity chefs here.
Ina Garten’s Reading List
The New York Times Cookbook by Craig Claiborne
The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins
Italian Country Cook Book by Ruth Rodgers & Rose Gray
The Loaves and Fishes Cookbook by Anna Pump
Cold Weather Cooking by Sarah Leah Chase
Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells
The Union Square Cookbook by Danny Meyer & Michael Romano
Roasting by Barbara Kafka
A Platter of Figs by David Tanis
Cowgirl Creamery Cooks by Sue Conley & Peggy Smith
The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Vintage Cocktails by Brian Van Flandern
(via Barefoot Contessa; photo by Quentin Bacon)
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