Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten Hates Being Alone

The idea of having a night at home alone isn’t appealing to Ina Garten. As the Barefoot Contessa, the 73-year-old hosts her cooking show from a “barn” on her property in East Hampton, New York. She works with a small team on all things Barefoot Contessa and spends her days filming and creating new recipes. When Garten gets time off, she’s not spending it alone.

An ‘evening home alone’ sounds miserable to Ina Garten

Ina Garten speaks at the 2015 Forbes Women's Summit
Ina Garten | Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

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While promoting her cookbook, Cooking for Jeffrey, the Barefoot Contessa got personal with Vanity Fair. She completed a Proust questionnaire — a parlor game popularized by writer Marcel Proust — where she shared some information about herself. 

Asked, “What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?” Garten replied, “An evening home alone with nothing to do.” Clearly, the Food Network star doesn’t like to be alone.

In the event Garten does find herself at home alone, she’s not whipping up a meal fit for Barefoot Contessa. She only likes cooking for other people. 

“Cooking is a sharing thing; it’s not about the cooking itself,” she told The Food Network’s FN Dish in 2012.

When she’s home alone the best-selling cookbook author’s eating something simple. 

“If I’m by myself, I’ll have fruit, yogurt, and granola or get soup from somewhere nearby, like Loaves and Fishes,” she said. 

Ina Garten often has friends over for a meal on ‘Barefoot Contessa’

Watch Garten’s cooking show to see her invite friends — sometimes famous, sometimes not — over. She’s hosted everything from Fourth of July barbecues and Thanksgiving dinners to Sunday brunches and beach picnics. 

Garten makes entertaining look easy on Barefoot Contessa but admittedly she’d had lots of practice. The Barefoot Contessa has decades of party-hosting (and cooking) experience. Sometimes she has friends over to cook with her, arrange flowers, or make cocktails. Garten loves a party and for her, it’s all about being with friends.

Knowing the Barefoot Contessa can’t stand being alone, it makes sense she’d fill her calendar with dinner parties. That way, she gets to cook for the people closest to her — something she enjoys doing — and avoid a dreaded night at home alone. 

The Barefoot Contessa doesn’t want to be alone when she dies

Jeffrey Garten and Ina Garten from 'Barefoot Contessa' standing together and smiling as they attend the opening night gala of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Jeffrey Garten and Ina Garten | Jim Spellman/WireImage

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Garten also revealed how she wants to die during her Proust questionnaire. To her, the details don’t matter as long there’s one person there. The Barefoot Contessa wants to die at the same as her longtime husband, Jeffrey Garten.

“I don’t care as long as Jeffrey and I go together and we end up in a big suite with a view of the ocean,” she said. Garten and her husband have been married for more than 50 years.

They first met as teenagers at Dartmouth College when the future Barefoot Contessa was there for a visit. Today, their romance is couple goals for many Garten fans.