I’ve always loved Ina Garten. Back in high school, watching The Barefoot Contessa after school on the Food Network was an essential component of my de-stressing routine. I would let Ina’s bougie, infinitely superior lifestyle wash over me and pretend I was part of a world where store-bought wasn’t fine and where it was normal to make a full three-course meal from scratch for a dog’s birthday party.
If I saw the Barefoot Contessa in the flesh, it’s safe to say I would fan-girl aggressively. It takes an incredibly talented person to make people believe that gourmet cooking can be simple and even easy. I admire her for her perpetual calm and soothing demeanor and her undeniable success, but the prospect of her latest cookbook left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
These days, The Barefoot Contessa has become synonymous with domesticity (AKA bougie housewife goals). But, how many people still conform to the domestic goddess ideal? It seems to me that what the Barefoot Contessa stands for has become dated and even ridiculous, particularly in light of her latest cookbook title, Cooking For Jeffrey.
What are the implications of cooking for someone else? Sure, cooking is something that ‘brings people together’ and it’s an experience that should be shared, but Garten’s newest cookbook seems to diminish her success — as if her success is equivalent to a wife simply making dinner for her husband.
Ina, you are the modern day boss of classic cooking. I’m excited to see what this new cookbook holds, but don’t reduce the awesomeness of your career by making it solely in terms of your husband.
If you’re just as intrigued by the Barefoot Contessa legacy as I am, you can pre-order Cooking For Jeffrey here. Stay tuned for a full review of the cookbook from yo girl in October.