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Style & Living Food and Drinks

This Is the Real Reason Why Ina Garten Named Her Show Barefoot Contessa

The Food Network chef has finally answered the question.

By Jenny Berg

They call her "the barefoot contessa... " but why? Ina Garten says that she gets asked constantly why she decided to give her show the mysterious name, so she's coming clean on just what inspired the title. 

On her blog, the chef (who was presumably wearing shoes at the time) weighed in on the hot topic. First, know this bit of trivia: The Barefoot Contessa was the name of a 1954 flick that starred Humphrey Bogart. OK, so, how does this tie into food? 

Inspired by the romantic film, some foodies who owned a specialty food shop in East Hampton gave their store the very same name. When they decided to put the shop up for sale in 1987, Garten — who was then working at White House Office of Management and Budget — came across an ad for the space in The New York Times

Flash forward to 1996, when — after years of owning the shop, and charming locals with her chicken salad — Garten decided to try her hand at new ventures. After selling the shop, she wrote a cookbook called The Barefoot Contessa, which went on to a huge success. By 2002, she was filming her show for the Food Network... and you know what that's called!

Listen: Why mess with a good name? Like a perfect recipe for roast chicken, if the formula works, it works. Plus, the name has a special place in Garten's heart. "For me, it means being both elegant and earthy," she wrote. 

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