Today, I had the pleasure of meeting the one…the only…Ina Garten! You may know her as the Barefoot Contessa from her popular Food Network show. Ina was on the last leg of her new book tour and we (my mom and I, because I always drag her with me to these things!) drove out to the Short Hills Mall in NJ to get our How Easy is That? cookbooks signed.
I am a huge fan of Ina Garten — and so is my 4-year old sous chef! I love her use of fresh, local foods and her casual elegance. She makes all of her recipes look so easy to make. And, I have yet to find one that hasn’t been out-of-this-world good! Check out her Outrageous Brownie recipe that I tried a while back!
We arrived 3 hours before the scheduled signing and the line was already forming. We ended up being the 25th and 26th people in line! I’m so glad we got there early. Because just one hour after we arrived, the line had grown to several hundred! Thank god I drug myself out of bed this morning at 5:00 am to get there in time.
While we waited in line, the fine folks at Williams-Sonoma treated us to a few recipes from Ina’s new cookbook. We sampled the spicy turkey meatballs and the apple-cranberry cake. Both were definitely keepers!
When we finally made our way to the back of the store where she was signing books, it was like a whirl wind. Everything moved so fast! We were whisked (no pun intended!) right up to the table and at first I was at a loss for words. I know what you’re thinking. Me? At a loss for words? Yes, it’s true! It was a little like the department store Santa scene from The Christmas Story. You know…the one where Ralphie finally gets to Santa and then can’t remember what he wants to tell him? That was me. When I finally got over the shock, I told her how much my son and I love to watch her show together. In the first photo, Ina is asking me about my little sous chef and telling me how great it is when children help out in the kitchen.
Later in the day, we stopped back at Williams-Sonoma to do some shopping — I can’t walk out of that place without buying something. I asked the clerk if she knew how many books were signed during the event. She told me nearly 1,000! I told you the line was long!
Ina was just as nice and down-to-earth as she seems on TV. All in all, it was a great day!
You all know who my favorite celebrity chef is…so, who’s yours?
Please, check out some of the other great websites, blogs and recipe swaps that I’ve found. Their links are to the right —>