In 1978, Ina Garten left her job as a budget analyst in the White House to pursue her dream of operating a specialty food store in the Hamptons. She is a frequent contributor to major national magazines and writes a recurring column in O Magazine. Her new television series on entertaining can be seen on Food Network. Ina lives in East Hampton, New York, and Southport, Connecticut, with her husband, Jeffrey.
For those who haven't had the pleasure of shopping at Ina Garten's specialty food store in the Hamptons The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook delivers - literally. Some 160 gorgeous photos plus Ina's favorite recipes fill the 252 pages of this indispensable kitchen reference As Martha Stewart writes in her Foreword, Ina is unique. "There is a freshness in cooking, a total lack of finickiness, a reliance on the freshest and best, and a casualness that I know will be appealing to everyone who uses her book." How true! Ina stresses freshness, noting that after several weeks in Provence where she found radishes and carrots with "soil still clinging to them," she determined to base her cooking on ingredients from local sources. A lesson for us all. Hosting a cocktail party, she decided, was not much fun if she spent all of her time running back and forth to the kitchen to get hot hors d'oeuvres out of the oven. So, she does everything possible to be sure that she does not leave the room. For instance, she has a table with all the drink fixings on it, and appetizers that can be served at room temperature so everything is either out or ready to pass when the first guest arrives. Thus we find common sense and uncommonly good appetizers from Roasted Eggplant spread to Guacamole to Smoked Salmon Sandwiches. Her soups are splendid, most of them starting with sauteed onions "to give a sweet, rich flavor to the stock." Parker's Split Pea Soup, which Steven Spielberg said tasted just like his mother's, is rich, hearty and beautifully presented topped either with toasted croutons or diced smoked ham. The joy Ina finds in cooking is evident in all of her dishes. She's a cook who makes simple food very, very special. Highly recommended.
Of course, I love Ina. She is the kitchen goddess. Great, sophisticated recipes but simple to prepare. I bought this collection thinking it was Ina's first three three books combined into one with (hope of hopes!) a combined index. Nope. The box contains Ina's first three books, individually. Still, they're great books and an excellent basis for any modern cook's library. Ok- just took all of the books out of the (very nice) box and see that there is a sturdy, wipe-able combined index included. Just don't misplace it! Also, a combined index for all the books is available at Ina's website.
Great book I receive as a gift. Contessa cookbook provides a variety of recipes that will please almost any appetite. I recommended,Any cook would appreciate the addition of this cookbook to his collection.
Ina needs a super hero cape. I am a new fan and for that reason, I chose this collection. I went to my local bookstore to browse her books prior to purchasing. Unsure of which book to start with, this collection of 3 alleviates some of the decision making. It contains "The barefoot contessa," "The barefoot contessa Family style," & "The barefoot contessa parties." It came with a card that contains all recipes to the set. I thoroughly plan on using this for the holiday season. I am finding that her recipes are quite easy to prepare. They are easy, and delicious. I think this set is good for any level of cooking: new or experienced cooks will appreciate it. Initially, I didn't think that I would be using the "parties" book, but I was wrong. It was an economical buy as well. Her cookbooks are priced at $35 in my local bookstore. With this set, I got 3 for $60. Not certain that I truly need the cardboard sleeve but for gift presentation, it is a nice look.
What a wonderful collection! This is a fantastic way to purchase these books. I gave my husband the idea of getting this set to put away for me for my Birthday! It's going to be hard to wait now that I know they are there!