Ina Garten is the author of numerous cookbooks and the host of a successful cooking show, Barefoot Contessa. After the Food Network star handed over the reins to her store of the same name, she entered the publishing world and released her first cookbook, The Barefoot Contessa cookbook. Here’s why Garten says it was a “big bet”.
Ina Garten worked in a specialty food store and in the White House before Food Network
Garten did not start his career in the food industry. Before becoming a celebrity chef, she worked in the White House as a budget analyst under the Ford and Carter administrations. She focused on nuclear energy policy.
In 1978, Garten saw a newspaper ad for the sale of a specialty food store called Barefoot Contessa in the Hamptons, New York. “I went home and told Jeffrey about it,” Garten said in an interview with PBS. “And he said, pick something you like to do. If you like to do it, you will be really good at it.
Garten took a chance and responded to the ad. She says she made a low offer, thinking there would be a negotiation. However, the previous owner called the next day and accepted his offer. Much to Garten’s surprise, she became the new owner.
Ina Garten says her first book deal was a big risk
Garten spoke with Food Network about his professional background. She says her first book deal was risky. Indeed, the publisher asked her to buy half of the published books so that she could sell them in her specialty food store, Barefoot Contessa. Therefore, she had to buy 5,000 books.
“I wasn’t really thinking how many pounds that was,” Garten explains. “It was a major roll of the dice.”
Garten was worried if his books would sell. However, she had nothing to fear. The large delivery of books was delivered to Garten’s store, but three days later someone called and told her that she had to return all the books immediately. According to Food Network, the first batch of 5,000 copies and an additional 15,000 books ordered by the publisher sold and they needed more copies.
Ina Garten doesn’t think she’ll ever stop writing cookbooks
If you’re worried that Garten will stop writing cookbooks, fear not. Barefoot star Contessa enjoys writing cookbooks so much that she never sees herself stopping. If things continue to go her way, she will be writing books for years to come.
“I just think it’s in my DNA,” Garten says in an interview with Epicurious. “When I wake up in the morning, I think, what do I want to do today? Testing recipes is what I want to do. And I can get out of the house and next to that big open barn and have a good time. “
“I can’t believe I can do this,” Garten adds. “After having had several careers first – as a nuclear energy politician and manager of a specialty food store – this is as good as it gets.”
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