about ina barefoot contessa

About Ina
Photo: Quentin Bacon
I had no idea what I was getting into. In 1978, I was working in the White House Office of Management and Budget and thinking I've got to do something more creative. I came across an ad in the New York Times for a specialty food store for sale in the Hamptons and I decided to investigate. My husband Jeffrey and I drove to Long Island to see the store and I fell in love. I had no experience in the food business but I knew that it was exactly what I wanted to do. I made the owner an offer thinking I'd go home and I'd think about it. She called the next day and said, "I accept your offer." Yikes! I owned a specialty food store!

Eighteen years later, Barefoot Contessa was a store that was celebrated both for its style and delicious food. In 1996, I sold the store to two employees who continued those traditions until closing the store in 2003. At that point, with nothing to do, I built myself an office over the store and tried my hand writing a cookbook. The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook turned out to be the most exciting thing I've ever done professionally and the response from readers has been absolutely overwhelming. In 2001, I published my second book, Barefoot Contessa Parties! In 2002, Barefoot Contessa Family Style was released, and I started my show on Food Network, also called Barefoot Contessa. In 2004, I published Barefoot in Paris about my favorite simple French food and my fifth cookbook Barefoot Contessa at Home, was published in 2006. In 2008, I released my sixth cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics and started my new show of the same name on Food Network. In 2010 I published my seventh book,How Easy is That? and in 2012 I published my eighth book, Foolproof. In 2014 I published my latest book, Make It Ahead.

I live in East Hampton with my husband Jeffrey.