You don’t have to live in the Hamptons to embrace the essence of Ina Garten. Her lifestyle is a romanticized approach that you can live from anywhere in the world. With a passion for cooking, a love for entertaining, and an appreciation for life’s simple pleasures, Ina Garten has charmed audiences globally with her warm and welcoming approach to food and hospitality. Here are 12 ways to bring out your inner Barefoot Contessa, no matter where you live. Whether you’re an experienced chef or just getting started in the kitchen, these tips will assist you in infusing your meals and gatherings with the same enthusiasm for good food, good company, and the pleasure of living well that Ina Garten is renowned for.
Buy Fresh Flowers
Ina adores fresh flowers. Buy bouquets from a grocery or farmers market and display them in simple vases throughout your home. Simple and elegant. How easy is that?
Visiting a farmer’s market is like entering a wonderful place for food lovers, just like Ina does. You get to see fresh produce in season and meet local farmers. The market is filled with beautiful colors, lovely scents, and a friendly atmosphere, making it a must-visit destination for those who care about using high-quality ingredients in their cooking.
Grow an Herb Garden
If you want to cook like Ina, you can start by growing your own herb garden. Fresh ingredients are essential to her delicious recipes, and you can achieve the same taste by growing herbs at home. With basil, cilantro, and rosemary at your fingertips, you can add a burst of freshness to your cooking anytime. Having an herb garden is easy and will make your dishes taste even better.
Homemade is Best
To channel your inner Ina Garten in the kitchen, remember that “homemade is best,” and simplicity with fresh ingredients is key. Ina’s approach to cooking centers on the idea that the most delicious dishes often come from using the freshest, simplest ingredients prepared with care. Keep your cooking straightforward, allowing the ingredients’ natural flavors to shine through.
Use Quality Ingredients
Ina believes in using the freshest and finest ingredients in her dishes. Buy the best produce, meats, and dairy products available to you. Whether selecting a prime cut of meat for roasting or picking the juiciest, ripest tomatoes for a summer salad, the quality of your ingredients improves your dishes’ final taste and presentation.
To embody Ina Garten’s welcoming spirit, consider hosting intimate gatherings among friends. Ina’s warm and gracious approach to entertaining is about creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere where everyone feels like they belong. Arrange your home carefully, setting a beautifully adorned table and lighting some candles to set the mood. Prepare simple yet delectable dishes using the finest ingredients, including a few of Ina’s favorite recipes, like her renowned roast chicken or fresh salads. The key is to focus on quality over quantity, allowing you to spend more time connecting with your guests and enjoying their company.
Start collecting cookbooks, and let them be your gateway to culinary creativity, just as Ina does. Collecting cookbooks can be a delightful journey into the diverse world of cuisines and culinary techniques. It allows you to explore new recipes, learn from experienced chefs, and infuse fresh ideas into your cooking. Much like Ina, you can build a collection that suits your culinary interests, whether Mediterranean cuisine, baking, or farm-to-table recipes.
Embracing seasonal cooking, as Ina Garten does, is a fantastic way to elevate your culinary skills and savor the freshest flavors of each season. To cook seasonally, you can start by familiarizing yourself with the produce that is in season in your region. Farmers’ markets or local grocery stores are excellent sources of seasonal ingredients. Plan your meals around these ingredients, using them as the stars of your dishes. Ina’s recipes often feature seasonal produce, such as fresh berries in summer or hearty root vegetables in the fall.
Create a Signature
One of Ina’s favorite cocktails is the cosmopolitan. Making your special drink is a fun way to get into mixology. You can create a drink that shows your style and taste, and it can become a symbol of your gatherings, just like Ina’s famous cosmopolitan reflects her warmth and elegance at her parties.
Simplicity is Key
Ina’s commitment to simplicity extends beyond her cooking to her everyday living. She embodies the idea that a life well-lived is often one that embraces simplicity. Whether it’s her warm and welcoming home, effortless entertaining style, or down-to-earth approach to life, Ina Garten’s philosophy reminds us that joy can be found in life’s simple pleasures.
Be a Planner
Learning to plan like Ina can be a helpful skill. Ina is known for her careful organization, which makes her events and meals go smoothly. You can follow her example by making to-do lists and setting goals. Enjoy the process of organizing and keeping things simple by breaking down tasks and setting achievable goals.
Stay True To Yourself
Staying true to yourself, just like Ina Garten does, means being authentic and genuine in how you live your life. Ina’s warm and welcoming personality shines through in everything she does, from cooking to interacting with people. Embrace your unique qualities and values. Don’t try to be someone you’re not or follow trends that don’t align with your true self. Instead, be confident in yourself, and let that authenticity guide your decisions and actions. Ina’s authenticity is a key part of what makes her so beloved.
Author: Natasha Newton (Natasha's Southern Flavor)
Natasha is the founder of Natasha’s Southern Flavor. She has a passion for sharing delicious family friendly low-carb recipes that are easy to make and use readily accessible ingredients. Natasha has published three bestselling cookbooks. Her books and recipes have been featured by CNET, Delish, Mindbodygreen, Parade and Women’s Health. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, two adult children, and three furbabies.
Read more about Natasha here.