Ina Garten Shares a Sweet Birthday Message for Her Husband, Jeffrey

Ina Garten isn’t shy about publicly expressing love for her husband, Jeffrey. They have been married for more than five decades and are still going strong. Ina recently posted a sweet message for Jeffrey on his 75th birthday. Here’s what the Food Network star had to say about the love of her life.

How Ina Garten and Jeffrey Garten met

Ina Garten poses and smiles with her husband, Jeffrey.
Ina Garten (L) and Jeffrey Garten attend Disney’s ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ World Premiere in 2018 | Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney

How did Barefoot Contessa star Ina Garten meet her husband? The couple met back in 1963 when the chef was just 15 years old. Ina was visiting her brother at Dartmouth College. At the time, Jeffrey was also a student at the university. Ina and Jeffrey went on a date soon after, and Jefferey stayed in touch through cards and letters. “He wrote to me, like, every day,” Garten tells Food Network. “I couldn’t keep up with it!”

Ina was so smitten that she took a bus ride 6 hours each way so she could spend weekends with Jeffrey. She was attending Syracuse University while he attended Dartmouth. Jeffrey loved that Ina would send him treats in the mail while he was away at college. His friends would wait with anticipation to see what he would receive next. Ina would send handmade sweaters or boxes of brownies.

Ina Garten’s birthday message for her husband, Jeffrey Garten

This year marks a special birthday for Jeffrey. He recently turned 75 years old. Ina posted a heartfelt Instagram message for her husband. “Happy Birthday to the love of my life!” she wrote. “I’ve loved you for more than 50 years and I’m just getting started.”

Ina once told Stephen Colbert that she and her husband are not only spouses but also good friends. After they were married in 1968, Ina learned just how compatible they were. They had some free time, so they went on a camping trip to Europe. They lived in a tent for four months since they didn’t have a lot of money. Ina says they learned a lot about each other.

“When we were married for, I think like a year and a half, we had four months and nothing to do,” Ina tells Colbert. “And no money. He was going to graduate school. We just decided that we were going to get two really cheap tickets to Europe. We bought an orange pup tent which was like three feet tall, and we lived in that pup tent for four months. At the end of that I thought if we’re still such good friends we can survive anything.”

Ina Garten dedicated a cookbook to her husband called ‘Cooking for Jeffrey’

During a video promoting her book, Cooking for Jeffrey, Garten talks about what makes cooking great for her. She says cooking isn’t just about getting a hot meal on the table. For her, it’s about spending time with others and building community.

“The thing I like most about cooking is actually that when you cook, everybody shows up,” says Garten. “It’s not really the cooking part; it’s the community part. One of the things I think people get really worked up about is doing a meal that impresses everybody. What I try and do is something where you can buy really simple ingredients, cook something really simple, and everybody loves it.”

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