Ina Garten has no shortage of friends and fans, but when she was recently asked who would be on her dream dinner party guest list only a handful of boldface names made the cut.
The question, which included those who are dead or alive, was posed to Garten, 71, during the 20th New Yorker Festival at the New York Society for Ethical Culture on Saturday, October 12. In addition to her husband, Jeffrey Garten, the Barefoot Contessa host’s list consisted of “Julia Child, definitely, Taylor Swift and Michelle Obama.” Not a bad lineup!
Ina has said Child inspired her to leave her job with the federal government decades ago and get into cooking, and the Food Network star was more than complimentary when she ventured to The White House in November 2016 to break bread with the now-former First Lady of the United States.
“You’ve inspired girls all over the world, including me,” Ina told Obama, 56, at the time. The culinary expert also told Obama that she would happily cook a meal for her.
As for her final dream dinner guest? The cookbook author and Swift, 29, have actually been friends for years. In fact, Ina even went so far as to call the “Blank Space” songstress “extraordinary” during an interview with the Huffington Post in October 2018, adding of her pal: “She’s very smart and very interesting and she loves her friends. She is wise beyond her years to say the least.”
Swift, on the other hand, is equally taken with Ina. When the Grammy winner was asked about her go-to recipes as part of an Elle cover story earlier this year, a Barefoot Contessa classic was in the mix. “I’ve always cooked a LOT, but I found three recipes I know I’ll be making at dinner parties for life: Ina Garten’s real meatballs and spaghetti (I just use packaged bread crumbs and only ground beef for meat), Nigella Lawson’s Mughlai chicken and Jamie Oliver’s chicken fajitas with molé sauce,” Swift told the publication.
Still, despite her clear fondness for Swift, no one can take Jeffrey’s place in Ina’s heart. “He’s really unbelievable. He’s so supportive, and it’s never about him, it’s about what he thinks I would like to do,” she said of her husband at the New Yorker Festival. “He’s just so present for me, and so supportive, and so smart, and fun, and adorable and just always there for me.”
With reporting by Lexi Ciccone
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