celebrity chef Ina Garten
Where Did Ina Garten's Name 'The Barefoot Contessa' Come From?
By Elaina Friedman
Ina Garten's moniker of Barefoot Contessa is iconic, even though the celebrity chef is technically not an actual contessa, which is the wife of an earl or a count.
Garten shares the name with the Westhampton Beach specialty food store she ran after her time as a White House budget analyst and before she became a TV host.
In the mid-1990s, it also became the title of her first published cookbook. She borrowed the name from the 1954 Hollywood classic starring Ava Gardner and Humphrey Bogart.
"For me, it means being both elegant and earthy," Garten wrote on her blog in 2018. Her store has been closed for years, but it appeared in the 1997 rom-com, "As Good As It Gets."
The store is in a scene with Diane Keaton roaming its floors while she practices her French. Writer-director Nancy Meyers later used it as inspiration for "Something's Gotta Give."
Off-screen, Barefoot Contessa was just as idyllic. In 2021, Garten shared a photo of the shop's exterior in honor of its 43rd anniversary, which was a source of joy for her fans.