Ina Garten wasn’t insulted when a ‘genius’ called her cookbook ‘the worst’


Ina Garten said Richard Avedon once told her that his first cookbook had the “worst” design he had “ever seen”. The cookbook author replied, “I need to see what you see.” During their conversation, Ina Garten realized that her work and that of Avedon were “different”.

Leave it to Ina Garten to accept criticism from a reputable photographer. The barefoot countess once recalled how she wasn’t “offended” when one of her famous friends dubbed her first cookbook “the worst”.

Richard Avedon, known for taking photos of Marilyn Monroe and many others, had harsh words for Garten. The photographer, who died in 2004, was a friend of Garten.

During a 2015 appearance in Texas, Garten shared a story she had never told publicly, according to CultureMap Houston. She recalled how Avedon had a memorable reaction to her first cookbook, 1999’s The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.

“I took him out to dinner and he said, ‘This is the worst (book design) I’ve ever seen,'” she recalls. Garten, now with numerous cookbooks to her name, continued.

“Because it was Richard Avedon, who was such a genius – anyone else, I would have been offended,” she explained. “But with Richard, I sat closer to him on the couch and said, ‘I need to see what you see,’ because I was starting my second book.”

During their conversation, something happened to Garten. She and Avedon were two different authors.

“What I realized while he was talking is that he writes art books — his photography was art — and I write cookbooks,” she said. . “The more I thought about it, the more I realized it was different from what I was doing. (What I do) is very accessible.

Ina Garten’s editor ‘didn’t get it’ her cookbook idea

Avedon wasn’t the only person worried about Garten’s first Barefoot Contessa cookbook. The cooking show host’s editor wasn’t sure.

“When I first decided to do cookbooks, the popular thing at the time was these massive 250 recipe books – how to cook everything,” Garten told The Hollywood Reporter. “I wanted a book of 75 good recipes, like a very good roast chicken.”

“My editor didn’t get it,” she said. “People were skeptical because it was so different from what was being done.” She stuck to her “vision” and eventually the publisher agreed.

Ina Garden | Michael Bezjian/WireImage

Ina Garten released a new Barefoot Contessa cookbook on October 25

The Food Network star is gearing up for the release of Barefoot Contessa Cookbook #13. Garten’s latest book, Go-To Dinners, will launch Oct. 25. After Instagram previews in 2021, fans will finally be able to get their hands on the cookbook.

Inspired by his coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown experience, Go-To Dinners is, according to the book’s description, a “collection of easy, make-ahead, make-ahead, frozen-ahead recipes and simply put together that you’ll want to do over and over again.”

There are Garten’s strategies for “making her most satisfying and simple dinners,” like Overnight Mac & Cheese. Other recipes include Tuscan White Bean Soup, Chicken in a Pot with Orzo, Breakfast for Dinner, “Two-Fers” and no-cook options.

RELATED: Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka Won a Guacamole Night at Jeff Probst’s House with Ina Garten’s Recipe