How do I contact and arrange a meeting with Ina Garten?
January 26, 2008 3:17 PM   Subscribe

How do I contact and arrange a meeting with Ina Garten?

My wife is an amazing woman who is celebrating her 30th birthday this year. While she doesn't call herself a foodie, she loves to cook and puts so much of herself into her creations. As she puts it, "Food is Love".

She clearly admires and adores Ina Garten. In return for all the glorious meals she has made since we met (and eventually got married), I would like to somehow arrange for her to meet Ms. Garten.

Does anyone know how to contact her to try and arrange a meeting? Even if it's for just 15 minutes, I know this would be an amazing memory for her and would be an inspiration for years to come.

I know it's a long-shot, but I'm hoping that a good story and an earnest plea would help make this happen. My wife has made me happy for so many years, it would be a wonderful way to return the favor if she were to meet one of her inspirations and heroes.
posted by zooropa to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
From the wikipedia article on her it looks like a tall order:

Garten is known to guard her privacy closely, giving few interviews and declining to take part in Food Network charities and activities.

I think your best bet is to try and get a letter forwarded to her (open, so they can see it isn't a nutcase) through her publisher or agent. Attempting to, respectfully, get a message to her through the staff of these organisations may be helpful.

Also, ask them for any planned public appearances/book signings and maybe you can even hide the meeting with a 'nice weekend away' surprise. Even if you can't get any confirmation of a personal meeting of any sort (my suspicion as will be the case) you may be able to get to meet her through a book signing or other public appearance.

I foresee a large amount of ground work. Good luck.
posted by Brockles at 3:25 PM on January 26, 2008

Brockles is 'spot on.' Find out about a public appearance/book signing, etc.

I suggest contacting her assistant: Barbara Libath (631) 324-0884.
posted by ericb at 3:50 PM on January 26, 2008

Ok, so the only reason that I don't think this is totally out of the question is that I googled Ina Garten and came up with this from a foodie discussion board:
Miss Ina has a note on her site stating that because the show's production takes place in the rather small kitchen of her home it would be impossible to invite guests other than people/friends she actually knows and usually entertains. She does, however, offer a consolation visit to her office over the store where she generally 'holds court' five days a week during regular business hours. She asks that you call ahead just to be certain that she's in and available.
That was as of Sept, 2007. The note isn't on her site anymore, which makes me think that she was probably got too many such requests. But the fact that she was apparently willing to meet with people a couple of months ago makes me think that she might be willing to accommodate a special request. It sounds possible to me that if you were willing to go to East Hampton, she might be willing to meet with you and your wife.
posted by craichead at 4:23 PM on January 26, 2008

her office over the store where she generally 'holds court' five days a week

She sold the store several years ago and I'm quite sure the store closed down.

Are you aware, zooropa, that the Barefoot Contessa lives in East Hampton, NY?
posted by HotPatatta at 4:51 PM on January 26, 2008

So I checked the wayback machine, and as far as I can tell the guy on the message board totally made that up. But I'd still call her office. At the very least, they make it really clear that she's happy to sign books. So maybe as a backup plan, you could get a personalized book.
posted by craichead at 4:53 PM on January 26, 2008

She sold the store several years ago and I'm quite sure the store closed down.
Her bio says that after selling the store she continued to work out of the office above the store, and the contact page on her website seems to indicate that she still occupies it:
The retail store is no longer open, but we are in the office weekdays, from 9 to 5 EST.
posted by craichead at 4:57 PM on January 26, 2008

This is just gossip, but I know a couple who knew her when she still owned the store, and they have almost nothing but bad things to say about how she interacts with people, especially those who work for her and her husband. It sounds like meeting her would perhaps tarnish one's perception of her, if one holds her in high esteem.
posted by AthenaPolias at 6:18 PM on January 26, 2008

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