Celebrity chef Ina Garten is a self made queen! After writing more than 10 cookbooks and making it on the New York Times Best Sellers list, the three-time Emmy award winner is valued at $50 million, according to celebritynetworth.com, and she’s still reaching for the stars.
Ina’s amazing career started off with her love for food. When she was in her late 20s, Ina decided to quit her job writing nuclear energy policy for the federal government to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a chef.
“I really loved [the job] because you felt [an] enormous weight of what you’re doing is going to the president,” she told Today‘s Willie Geist in an October 2018 interview. “And then after about three years, I thought, nothing’s happened.” It was clear to Ina that it was time to move on.
With husband Jeffrey Garten by her side, Ina felt like she could do anything. The brunette beauty quickly mastered her craft when she took a trip to Paris in the early 1970s with her hubby. There, she learned about Julia Child‘s recipes and fresh food markets. “I bought both of her books, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and I literally worked my way through those books,” the Food Network star explained. “And if I didn’t get it right, the soufflé didn’t come out right, I’d do it again and again and again.”
That tenacity was one of the reasons Ina became such a big success. Once she was more confident in her craft, Ina opened a small store called “The Barefoot Contessa,” which she ran for nearly 20 years. Then after she sold it, Ina published The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, which was a massive success.
It wasn’t long before Food Network was knocking on her door for a TV show. “I was like, there’s no way,” she told Willie about the opportunity. “I just would send them away and they’d keep coming back. I just couldn’t imagine anybody would want to see me on TV.” But Ina was wrong. In 2009 and 2010, she won two Emmys for Outstanding Lifestyle/Culinary Host for Barefoot Contessa. Then, in 2017, she won another Emmy for Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics.
If anything, Ina has shown that anyone can make it if you just believe in yourself!