Monday, January 09, 2012

Ina Garten's NY Apartment

Happy 2012!

I've been watching episodes of the Barefoot Contessa on YouTube (user "Mr Melodifestivalen" has quite the stash), chuckling at Ina Garten's overuse of catch phrases: 'Use good [insert ingredient]'; 'How easy is that?' (which has apparently been trademarked), etc. and rolling my eyes at the East-Hampton smarminess which inevitably oozes through in some episodes.

Photo: Food Network Humour
Watching Ina interact with her numerous friends at dinner parties, beach grills, and so forth; one really picks up on her inherently controlling nature in the way she orders people around at parties, controls the conversation, tells people what to do/buy, etc. Whether this is a product of editing; an on-screen persona or the true Ina is hard to tell. However, personally, I find these somewhat irritating traits forgivable due to her jovial character (almost always clothed in shents [shirt-tents]) which doesn't come across as overly critical at the best of times.

Juxtapose that with Martha Stewart, the ultimate control-freak and perfectionist who, in my opinion, while being undoubtedly magnificently successful as well, does not posses Ina Garten's on-screen charm; ability to laugh easily (albeit nervously), or warmth of character. I found it interesting to note that, according to the article on Wikipedia, Ina Garten was mentored by Martha Stewart. Hmmm.

And then there's Jeffrey Garten, Ina's puppy-dog-like husband. This man is immensely successful in the business world, which must require the tenaciousness of a bulldog with all the right connections, and yet is content to be portrayed as a soft-hearted slightly dim-witted character in Ina's productions. I have wondered whether his business colleagues watch him onscreen (assuming the upper echelon business types in the US would watch an episode of the Barefoot Contessa starring Jeffrey) and think to themselves: WTF? Regardless, whether his on-screen time portrays anything close to his real-life character or not, it must be love, right.

Photo: Food Network Humour
But whatevs. Her shows are fun to watch for all the things that make them cringe-worthy, with each episode containing enough butter in every cake recipe to stop the heart of an ox (although, nobody rivals Paula Deen on the butter front), as well as the voyeuristic ability to check out the house/garden/beaches/stores of the richer contingent of American society.

Photo: Food Network Humour
Speaking of how the other third lives, I found an article on Ina Garten's New York pad over at HouseBeautiful. Who wouldn't love to walk into a house, see a window and tell the realtor: I'll take it. My goodness, it must be fun to be that rich :-)

Photo: HouseBeautiful
Love the photo/painting above the fireplace. It's so striking.

Photo: HouseBeautiful
 Great pumpkin-coloured tablecloth.

Photo: HouseBeautiful
A window above the sink overlooking the city must be a cool thing to have.

Photo: HouseBeautiful

Photo: HouseBeautiful

Photo: HouseBeautiful
For the full set of photos, and a Q&A with Ina, head over to HouseBeautiful.


oomph. said...

aw, haha, i like watching ina! guess i never really paid too much attention to the things you've noted, but i get it now that you mention it!


Kitchen Simmer said...

Happy New Year Juanita!! All the best. I wish I had an apartment like Ina.. lucky her! Good to see you back on the blogs. Have a great week! ~ Ramona

Betty Bake said...

hahaha this blogpost made me smile :)

thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting
have a great evening

Betty Bake x

Anonymous said...

Love this post :-)
I don't watch her but this post has made me go take a look.

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Ina does have impeccable taste!!! Yeah, she's a bit easier to view than Martha!