Here's What Happened When Ina Garten Met Famous Fan Tony Bennett

Ina Garten may never have been trained as a professional chef, but this former specialty food store owner-turned-cookbook author and Food Network host certainly knows a thing or two about being a gracious hostess. While good food is crucial to setting the mood, the Barefoot Contessa also credits selecting the right music. And when it comes to style and grace, she always goes for the classics, like iconic entertainer Tony Bennett. In an interview with Yahoo! Lifestyle, Ina mentions how she liked to play his music at her first store, and in a Hello Giggles Q&A about hosting the perfect Thanksgiving, she suggests his music as something with multi-generational appeal.

Well, she's certainly got that right! When it comes to entertainers who transcend musical eras, you couldn't pick a better example than Tony Bennett. Seriously, what can't he do? From liberating a concentration camp during World War II to making an album with Lady Gaga to winning a Grammy for a recording of a concert held to celebrate his 90th birthday... and at 90-plus, he still shows no signs of slowing down, much less growing old.  

What is his secret? Well, we'll probably never know, but since he's a good old Italian boy (born Antonio Benedetto), we're betting it has something to do with food. And what kind of food does Mr. Bennett enjoy? Well, we'll let Ina tell us all about it, from the time she finally met the legendary Mr. B.

​ What Tony said to Ina when they finally met

The meeting took place at one of the stops on a book tour she was making to promote one of her Barefoot Contessa cookbooks. The two celebrities were introduced by Tony Bennett's wife Susan, and right away famous food fan Tony said to Ina, "I love your meatballs!" Just which meatballs he didn't specify — her Real Meatballs made with veal, pork, and beef? Her Roasted Italian Meatballs made with red wine? Perhaps her Spicy Turkey Meatballs? Ina didn't seem to care which meatball recipe was Tony's pick, she just got such a big kick out of the whole encounter. She told Today, "I think I laughed for, like, 24 hours after that. Tony Bennett likes my meatballs."

And as for Tony — well, history does not record what he thought of Ina's response, but we can almost hear him now, singing, "Ina With the Laughing Face."