Yes, Ina Garten does have a successful career, but it doesn’t mean anything if she can’t celebrate it with her husband, Jeffrey Garten. In 1968, the pair got married, but their love story starts even before that. It dates back to when Jeffrey was still a student at Dartmouth College and Ina, who was 15 years old at the time, was visiting her brother at the school.
“He saw me walking around the campus and he said to his roommate, ‘I wonder who that girl is.’ Now you have to understand Dartmouth was all men at that time so I was like the only girl walking around,” she hilariously told Katie Couric on her podcast in April 2017. “It wasn’t like I was Elle Macpherson walking around Dartmouth and six months later he showed up at my doorstep, which is amazing that he remembered.”
While recalling the story to Today Food in February 2018, Ina said meeting Jeffrey felt like it was love at first sight. “I just knew he was The One,” the celebrity chef gushed. “He’s kind, he’s smart, he’s funny and he takes very good care of me. It’s wonderful.”
The pair went on to face all of their challenges together. When Ina decided to quit her job writing nuclear energy policy for the federal government to pursue her passion for cooking, Jeffrey was right behind her. He also supported her when she took a chance and opened her first store in 1978.
The shop was called “The Barefoot Contessa” and it was located in Westhampton Beach, New York, a place she had never been to. “When I hesitated like, ‘I don’t know anything about this subject,’ [Jeffrey] said to me, ‘I think the best anybody could ever get is if you love it, you’ll be really good at it,”’ Ina explained to Today‘s Willie Geist in an October 2018 interview, and boy, was she good at it!
The culinary pro used her famous recipes to write Make It Ahead, a New York Times bestseller, host her own Food Network shows and rack up an incredible net worth of $15 million. But, throughout all of her successes, her love for her husband never wavered.
“When we’re not together, I’ll send her five or six texts per day,” Jeffrey gushed to People in October 2018 about his 50-year love story with Ina. “I love looking at her schedule. I can envision where she is and what she’s doing, and it doesn’t feel like we’re apart. If I could be with her seven days a week, 24 hours a day, that would be my ideal.”
Scroll below to learn more about Ina’s husband, Jeffrey!
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