‘Barefoot Contessa’ Ina Garten Admits She Had Never Had This Childhood Staple Until the Pandemic Hit

Barefoot Contessa star Ina Garten has been an absolute social media rockstar during the pandemic. Her posts about giant cocktails, comfort food recipes, and her beloved Jeffrey have been a must-follow for many this year. But there’s still a lot fans don’t know about the popular TV chef.

Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa
‘Barefoot Contessa’ star Ina Garten | Mike Smith/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Ina Garten is a Swiftie

During a recent interview with Katie Couric on her Instagram Live series Happy-ish Hour, Garten and Couric made Pomegranate Cosmos while answering fan questions. According to People Magazine, the ladies talked about a variety of topics, from holiday cooking tips to Taylor Swift’s latest album, Evermore. As it turns out, Garten is a bit of a Swiftie.

“I’m a major Taylor Swift fan!” Garten said. “Isn’t she unbelievable? She’s so, so smart.”

Garten noted that Swift was a wonderful role model for women of all ages, and she recalled something that the singer said at one of her concerts years ago.

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“She said, ‘We’re all upset about what’s said about us on the internet, but the truth is what we tell ourselves about ourselves is so much worse.’ And I thought ‘wow.’ I’m not a teenage girl but I really got it. It was such a smart thing to say,” Garten explained.

Swift is also a big fan of the Barefoot Contessa. In the 2015 issue of the TIME 100 – which highlights the 100 most influential people in the world – Swift wrote the entry about Garten, who they named an “icon.”

Garten and Swift spent an afternoon together in 2014 to cook some of the singer’s favorite recipes for Food Network Magazine.

The ‘Barefoot Contessa’ star’s popularity on social media has soared during the pandemic

While speaking with Anderson Cooper on CNN’s Full Circle, Garten reflected on her rise in social media popularity this past year. The Food Network star has gained more than a million social media followers since the pandemic hit, and it all began with a viral video of her mixing a giant cosmo.

“So I started making things for Instagram to kind of get people through it. And then one day I thought, I think we all need a cocktail,” she says.

Garten also fast-tracked her latest cookbook Modern Comfort Food because she knew her fans needed those recipes during quarantine. The TV chef says her current guilty pleasures are simmering soups and stews. She also likes putting a unique twist on a classic recipe.

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In her recipe for American beef stew in Modern Comfort Food, Garten decided to substitute short ribs for the beef because they add “much more flavor” and keep the dish from being “boring.”

“And then I kind of borrowed ingredients from French beef Bourguignon and put in a lot of red wine and some cognac and it’s just satisfying,” Garten said.

Ina Garten just discovered the peanut butter and jelly sandwich

During their conversation on Full Circle, Cooper told Garten that he loves watching her show even though he doesn’t cook. He also described himself as having “the palate of a five-year-old” and confessed to eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner.

In response, Garten revealed that she and her husband Jeffrey have also been enjoying PB&J’s during the pandemic. She also confessed that she’d never had the childhood staple until the pandemic hit.

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“I have to say in the beginning of the pandemic, that’s what (my husband) Jeffrey and I had, too. And I don’t think I’d ever had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I mean, my mother never made them. And we were just like, this is great.”

Modern Comfort Food is now available in stores.