Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten Has Been Using 1 Favorite Kitchen Item for 52 Years

Ina Garten has the perfect kitchen workspace layout, free from clutter and with everything easily accessible. Over the years, she’s discovered that simple is better, both in her approach to cooking and the tools she uses. The Barefoot Contessa star even has a favorite 52-year-old spatula that she still uses — proving you can’t beat the classics!

Ina Garten poses with Willie Geist in her kitchen while filming Sunday Today
Ina Garten and Willie Geist | Mike Smith/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Ina Garten has a 52-year-old spatula she uses regularly

While discussing her kitchen in an April interview with Oprah Daily, Garten shared that her kitchen tools are anything but fancy.

“In general, I don’t own a lot of specialized equipment,” she explained. “I don’t have 20 types of pasta makers and all those other crazy tools that you buy at 3 in the morning, then wonder why you did that.”

Her kitchen utensils are pretty basic and, it turns out, one of her favorites is very old.

“Instead, I have just what I need and I take very good care of it,” Garten said. “In fact, my favorite spatula is one I received as a wedding gift, which means — and I’m embarrassed to admit this — it’s 52 years old.”

“It came from Caldor, so over time, I’ve tried to find other versions of it, but none have been the right shape or size,” she added.

Garten keeps her kitchen utensils within reach, placed neatly in crocks set on her counter so that she can easily grab what she needs while she’s cooking.

Ina Garten has a specific kitchen layout that perfectly suits her needs

The Barefoot Contessa star has developed the perfect kitchen layout that serves two purposes: she has her own workspace but she can also entertain guests in the space.

During a tour of the 2009 Kitchen of the Year, Garten explained, “My idea is that the kitchen really is the new living room” so she has seating areas to accommodate her guests. There are counter stools on the other side of her work area, armchairs by the fireplace, and chairs at the dining table.

“Everybody hangs out there, they come there in the morning, they stay all day, and then we have dinner there,” she shared.

The ‘Barefoot Contessa’ star doesn’t want people ‘underfoot’ in her kitchen

During an interview with House Beautiful magazine, Garten explained the specifics of her kitchen space and how she’s arrived at balancing the area she cooks in with the traffic flow.

“I think the most important thing is that the workspace isn’t too big,” Garten explained. “That it’s a space that you can actually handle easily. And the thing I think that people do wrong the most is that the workspace is out of the traffic area.”

Her home has a traffic flow that allows people to pass through the kitchen, without disrupting her workspace. “So that if there are people — you know kids and dogs and friends — and running back and forth, they’re not underfoot when I’m working,” she noted.

There is plenty of room for her guests, she said, adding, “But my workspace between the island and the back counter are sort of sacrosanct. Nobody moves around in there unless, of course, they’re cooking with me.”