February 16, 2010 at 2:36 pm , by Rachel Shippy
Known to most of us as the Barefoot Contessa, the Food Network’s Ina Garten has become a household name and the authority on easy entertaining… but not overnight. We caught up with Ina at an event hosted by New York Women In Communications where she told us how she built her empire and where it’s going next.
After quitting her job as a White House nuclear budget analyst, Ina bought a specialty foods store in Westhampton, NY (called The Barefoot Contessa) marking the first leap of faith she took towards her dream and her now legendary culinary career. From there, Ina embarked on catering, cookbooks, and was eventually approached by the Food Network to do a cooking show (much to our DVR’s delight).
Now known as much for the simplicity of her cooking as she is for her clean, classic style, Ina has made painstaking efforts to ensure that the Barefoot Contessa brand continues to reflect the same. As she puts it, “It’s not always easy to make something simple.” Whether it’s an ingredient or a business decision, Ina has a clear idea of what she wants and refuses to stray from the “True North” she worked so hard to find.
What’s next for Ina? She is one of the upcoming recipients of the prestigious Matrix Award for her exceptional work in communications. New episodes of Barefoot Contessa air Saturdays on the Food Network at 1:30pm/12:30c. Also, stay tuned for her 7th cookbook, which is in the works now.