A Day in the Life of Ina Garten

The 'Barefoot Contessa' star describes eating, gardening, working at home in East Hampton, New York

Ina Garten is known for maintaining an elegant and effortless lifestyle, which translates naturally both on and off camera. Unlike many of her colleagues, Garten films her Barefoot Contessa cooking show at her home in East Hampton, N.Y., and gives viewers an accurate glimpse of her life as a cook, gardener, food enthusiast, and wife. She tells The New York Times what an average day looks like for her, which has only a few unexpected surprises...

Garten starts her day not with freshly baked tri-berry muffins and pomegranate breakfast soda, but instead with a simple bowl of oatmeal hot out of the microwave and a fresh cup of coffee.

When lunchtime rolls around, she and husband Jeffery, a business professor at Yale, drive to cafés in Montauk or Hamptons Bay for a delicious, simple meal like grilled fish or a lobster roll because, says Garten, "I don’t like fancy food." Throughout the day, Garten stops at her favorite local specialty shops to get the freshest plants for the garden and the perfect ingredients to stock her kitchen.

When she is not out hunting down the best local dishes, gardening, and spending time with her husband and friends, Garten is hard at work. But work for her might not seem like work for most. She spends hours each day developing and testing new recipes and occasionally updating her Facebook blog, which she just launched in April.

With all this fresh produce and cooking expertise on hand, Garten must create elaborate, mouthwatering Sunday night dinners for husband Jeffery, right? Not quite. Instead, Jeffery opts for takeout, and the two catch up on their favorite Sunday night television shows.