Why Does Ina Garten Own So Many Cake Stands?

Ina Garten is a Food Network star that is loved by many. She has a pleasant voice and makes dishes that anyone can follow. In 2014, Food Network Magazine featured a look inside The Barefoot Contessa’s workshop and test kitchen.

The issue also revealed Ina’s extensive collection of cookbooks, and Hamptons Curbed listed a few of Ina’s go-to cookbooks. In addition to these books, Ina also loves to collect cake stands.

Ina Garten’s career

Ina Garten
Ina Garten | Brad Barket/Getty Images for The New Yorker

Ina Garten first had a career in the White House Office of Management and Budget before becoming The Barefoot Contessa. She worked under presidents Ford and Carter as a budget analyst, where she was in charge of writing the nuclear energy budget and other tasks.

According to Eat This, Not That, in 1978, Ina came across a newspaper ad selling a Hampton’s food and bakery shop, called ‘The Barefoot Contessa.’ She used the money she made from flipping houses to buy the shop. The previous owners named the shop after a 1954 movie.

Garten kept the name and later used it as the name for her show and as a nickname. She is also not a trained cook, but has always loved cooking since she was young. 

When House Beautiful interviewed her in 2017, Garten said she taught herself how to cook using cookbooks. The previous owners of ‘The Barefoot Contessa’ shop also taught her how to prep the sold food.

In 1996, Ina sold the shop and started writing her first cookbook, published in 1999. She also used to cater for Martha Stewart. Stewart is just one of many celebrity friends that Ina has. Stewart has helped Ina by giving critiques and introducing her to an editor. 

Ina Garten has also won numerous awards, including three daytime Emmys and three James Beards Awards for Outstanding Host and Television Program. In addition to this, the late Anthony Bourdain has even given her praise. Bourdain made it known he did not care for Food Network stars, but Ina was one he respected, saying she’s instructive and legit.

Ina Garten’s barn and library

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Across the lawn of Ina’s East Hampton home sits a studio and test kitchen that she had built. A House Beautiful article revealed that the architect, Frank Greenwald, was the designer.

She dubbed this building ‘The Barn’ because the simple Belgian country buildings inspired her. It serves as an entertaining space and workshop where Ina also holds business meetings. It has a well-stocked pantry, a bedroom, and an office space for Ina.

Garten also had a small research library added to the test kitchen. This library is where her extensive cookbook collection is showcased. Before this, Ina said her cookbooks just sat in a pile on the floor. She made sure it’s user-friendly, and she said she’s in this room all the time.

Another architect, Daniel Romualdez, convinced Ina to keep the bottom shelves of the bookcase empty. This way, she can open up a book there while she browses for a recipe. These shelves are also deeper for this purpose.

Ina Garten’s cake stands

In the barn’s kitchen and on the top of her bookcase in the library, Garten has displayed her beautiful collection of cake stands.

The kitchen collection includes glass and silver stands, while those on display in the library are white. She has been collecting cake stands for multiple years and has said that she can’t help herself; she’s a “cake-stand hoarder.”