The Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten, made a smiley appearance at the Ferry Building yesterday while filming an episode for the Food Network. According to Eater, she was gathering ingredients for a Napa picnic. We spotted her sifting through radishes, giggling over cherry tomatoes, and apparently smitten with the Mt. Tam cheese from Cowgirl Creamery. She seemed a bit shy of the crowd, and we felt a little sorry for her as she filmed take after take under the giddy gaze of onlooking fans, from whom we heard echoes of the almost universal: "she reminds me of my mom."
Maybe that's what it is about Ina that makes us happy, she makes us feel at home. She even cooks our mothers' food (or at least how we wish our mothers cooked); food that's simple and herbaceous, evoking warm, buttery family dinners that were more about who's at the table than what's on your plate. As simple as they were, her springy arugula salads and rustic roasted chicken consistently excited all those "impromptu" garden parties and "unexpected" gatherings of friends on the porch who oddly turned up on set just in time for filming, invariably forcing ever-ready Ina to cash in on the bone stock she happened to have chilling in the fridge, or compound butter she whipped up after breakfast "just in case." Oh Ina, the tricks up your sleeve.
Word from Grub Street is that she also dined on the famous roasted chicken at Zuni later last night with a mystery man friend (Jeffrey??). If you missed her this time don't worry, she'll be back in November promoting her new book Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust. You can register for tickets here.