Sunday, June 3, 2012

Cocktails and Gossip: Ina Garten Lays her Diss Down!

As a self proclaimed homebody who doesn't like to travel, the Food Network has been a Godsend when I'm away because, no matter where I go, I instantly feel more at home while Bobby Flay is at the grill or one of the Iron Chefs makes ice cream.

Something about the whole thing comforts me, and perhaps, the most soothing personality of all is Ina Garten. As I lie in my hotel room, the TV set to timer, I can drift off peacefully knowing all is right with the world while Garten whips up a coconut cream cake and utters "How easy is that?"

So imagine my surprise when scoping out some gossip for last week's dish to discover our Barefoot Contessa has layed her diss down on a well known Hollywood celebrity and a sick little boy!

I'll start with the celebrity.

Jennifer Garner, who is apparently as big a food nerd as I am, asked if she could be a guest on Garten's show, hoping her star power might give her an in.

But Garten, who claims she only ever invites close personal friends to be guests on The Barefoot Contessa, sent word that this wouldn't be happening any time soon.

In the January 2010 issue of W magazine Garner good naturedly jokes: “I felt like, What are you saying? That we’re not friends? I know everything about you!”

But it was Garten's diss of a 6 year old boy diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia that had nobody joking.

According to the reports, the boy watched Garten with his mother and asked the Make-A-Wish Foundation if it would be possible meet her.

I'm imagining her comforting quality must have had the same effect on him as it did on me and I would have thought, given his age and the circumstances, that this would be an automatic yes - but not so much.

The boy and his family were told that Garten was too busy to fulfill his wish and even though they said they would wait, they were given a definitive no shortly thereafter.

Although the "too busy" excuse doesn't ring quite true to me, I also hesitate to rush to judgement about anyone and wonder out loud if there might have been other reasons that could have precipitated this decision. Has Garten had bad experiences with cancer/sick children/hospitals? Or, is she as out of touch and heartless as this has made her seem?

The negative publicity, however, was bad enough to nudge her to change her mind and she is reported to have invited the boy to be a guest on her show (breaking her close personal friend rule) after all. But the boy and his family have declined. They have "moved on" and are now hoping for a swim with dolphins.

In other news, I've recreated a favourite appetizer and cocktail combination that I often have when I'm out of town on business: Sweet Spicy Chili Garlic Thai Wings and Red Shoe Martinis.

Enjoy today's step by step video!

If you enjoy reading food related fiction, check out my hilarious new web series "Starring Samantha."

Samantha Wentworth's catering business goes belly up along with her marriage to cut throat divorce attorney Alan Wentworth. To recoup her losses she applies to be on a reality TV show, falls in love with the married producer, just about kills the pompous chef host, and gets herself into all kinds of other interesting predicaments. 

Stay tuned Saturdays for this brand new serial on The Kitchen Witch! I'll be basing the characters off of well known food world celebs to keep you guessing! Each installment will come with a signature cocktail, recipes, and a fun question and answer to include you in the plot twists - so be sure to bookmark The Kitchen Witch and come along for a fun, food related, romantic romp through the world of reality TV!

Click here to read Episode 1: Samantha Drowns her Sorrows in a Vodka Gimlet 



Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

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  1. Interesting! I too love Ina and I wonder if it was really her or just her publicist(s) replying the initial "No" to that young boy in a very unfortunate circumstance.

    While I can't say I'm delighted that he moved on to accepting another wish (hopefully not too much of a consolation prize for him), at least someone among Ina's people saw that rejecting the young boy was fairly harsh.

  2. wow, if this true and she truly did "diss" this child then she will get hers in return, I suppose we shouldn't feel we know celebrities just because they share our living rooms everyday.I'm glad they rejected her much too late offer, "too little too late" , very sad,

  3. I never liked her. lol She's too snobby for me. Can't believe anyone would turn down a sick kid. I mean, what 6 year old would ever think to ask a food network star for a wish? She should have been thrilled this boy even knew who she was! l

  4. I agree with Jeanine, I think she's a bit hoity toity... Yes, she has a docile speaking manner and seems nice, but there's that air of rose smelling poop behind it all, LOL. I can't believe she would even think of saying no to that poor 6 yr old boy!!

  5. I had heard of this before, made me so sad. I was sad for the boy, and sad to think that Ina wasn't the woman I thought she was. I too hope that it was the publicist who did the turn down and no Ina herself.