What Is the Secret Behind Ina Garten and Jeffrey’s Marriage?


Ina Garten and husband Jeffrey

Ina and Jeffrey. | Food Network

Ina Garten and her husband Jeffrey gives just about everyone serious relationship goals as the couple celebrates 50 years together. Just like her cooking and entertaining, the Barefoot Contessa makes marriage look easy breezy. And she reveals to People some secrets to a happy, healthy relationship. “He’s just the best friend anybody could ever have,” she says about her groom.

Like most couples, Ina and Jeffrey handled their share of challenges and roadblocks. But through it all, they remained a united pair. Ina reveals some of the reasons why she and Jeffrey are so solid after five decades.

It’s all about the roasted chicken

On one or more occasions, Ina is seen cooking a mouth-watering baked chicken for her beloved on her show The Barefoot Contessa. She makes no bones about it: Jeffrey loves her chicken. In fact, Ina knows a good meal (or roasted chicken) is the heart of a solid marriage. Meghan Markle exclaimed, “there is nothing as delicious (or as impressive) as a perfectly roasted chicken,” Today reports.  To which Ina tweeted, following the royal engagement, “Congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan! I always knew roast chicken had magic powers!! I’m so happy for both of you!”

And the love letters

Jeffrey and Ina Garten on a Balcony

Ina and Jeffrey | Ina Garten via Facebook

The couple spent a considerable time apart due to work and an Army deployment, People reports. During their time apart the couple wrote to each other. Jeffrey recalls when he was deployed to Thailand and says, “I wrote to Ina every single day. During the whole year I was only able to call her once.”

Ina devoured every word and still keeps the letters today. Later in their marriage, Jeffrey had to move to Japan for work. And again he wrote to Ina. “He used to write me notes all day, and he would fax them to me at night so when I woke up in the morning, I had them,” she says.

They admire each other

Ina and Jeffrey fully support each other professionally too. Jefferey worked at the State Department and Ina was a nuclear-budget analyst at the Office of Management and Budget under the Carter Administration, People reports.

“He just thought I was really smart and that I could do anything,” Ina says. “He was the first person I knew who thought that about me.”  Plus Jeffrey loved Ina’s multi-dimensional talents. “We were part of the first generation where there was a fork in the road for a lot of women, whether to pursue their careers or stay at home,” he says. “Ina was a cross between the two. She would send me brownies in a shoe box when I was in college and make me sweaters, but it never crossed my mind that she wouldn’t also do something really interesting professionally.”

And made this conscious decision

Ina Garten kisses her husband, Jeffrey

Ina Garten always has granola, a snack she eats with her husband, Jeffrey. | Foodnetwork.com

Ina says that the couple made one important decision that explains their cohesiveness. “We have more freedom because we decided not to have children—that’s made a huge difference,” she reveals to People. “Every year for many years we had that conversation. It would keep coming up and we would say, ‘Oh, let’s just wait.’ Eventually, we said, ‘What are we still having this conversation for?’”

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