Ina Garten Now Has An Actual Street Named After Her In East Hampton

Fans of the "Barefoot Contessa" may be surprised to learn that before Ina Garten picked up the moniker, she worked in the White House (via Barefoot Contessa). That's right, back in the 1970s, Garten worked in the White House Office of Management and Budget writing nuclear energy budgets — talk about impressive! But she found the work a drag and one day she answered an ad in the New York Times that changed everything. In 1978, she bought an East Hampton specialty food store at a low-ball price she didn't expect would be accepted, according to her website. Garten went on to run Barefoot Contessa, her East Hampton specialty foods store, for nearly 20 years before selling it to her employees.

Why Barefoot Contessa? Garten opened up about the story behind the store's name, now the name of her brand, in a blog post about smoked salmon deviled eggs. The store was named after a 1954 film of the same name with Ava Gardner and Humphrey Bogart. To Garten, she says, the phrase meant "being both elegant and earthy." Sounds like the perfect description for the laid-back elegance fans have come to expect when they enjoy a peak into Garten's East Hampton home on her Food Network show.

East Hampton honors Ina Garten

Ina Garten has been a fixture of East Hampton since she bought that shop in 1978 and now, after almost 45 years, she's becoming a permanent feature of the town (via East Hampton Star) — or at least her name is. The Village of East Hampton will be renaming a segment of Barns Lane as Ina Garten Way. The name change will be permanent, but the village will not be doing away with Barns Lane, Ina Garten Way will simply another name for the street, according to Mayor Jerry Larsen.

The stretch of road to be renamed will run from the Rag & Bone clothing store to the Capital One bank. Rag & Bone currently occupies the location where Garten's Barefoot Contessa store was located until it shuttered its doors in 2004. The "Barefoot Contessa" star left the business in 1996 to write her first cookbook, however, she is still the owner of the building (per her website). "It's a really nice tribute for a successful woman who has always had East Hampton Village at the top of her list." says Larsen. The announcement was made as a surprise to Garten during a live taping of "The Drew Barrymore Show," that aired on November 16, 2022, the East Hampton Star reports.