The Real Reason Ina Garten Doesn't Film In Her Home Kitchen

Leave it to Ina Garten to curate the dream work-life balance: an office — aka kitchen — sanctuary located on her plot of land in East Hampton, New York. Her secret to maintaining a healthy ratio of work and play? Not cooking for fun and work in the same kitchen.

"This barn is actually a great luxury for me because I used to work and film in my house," the Food Network TV personality told NYT Cooking in a video tour of her East Hampton work kitchen. Garten describes those early days in her career as "crazy." Now, just like anyone else, she commutes to work. The only difference between Garten and the average Joe is that hers has zero foot traffic and takes less than a few minutes to get to.

According to The New York Times, the barn (or kitchen) was built from 2006 to 2007 and customized from top to bottom to include everything imaginable. Because of this, Garten no longer films Barefoot Contessa or her other cooking ventures in her real kitchen at home. "I get to walk across the lawn and go to work and then, when I'm done, I can close the door and leave work behind me," she explained in her video kitchen tour. Work is work, and having this secluded office has clearly been Garten's recipe for success. 

Ina Garten didn't want her work kitchen to feel like a set

Just like any normal worker bee, professional chefs need their own workspace, and standard kitchens aren't built and equipped for professional cooks. So, once she had the money saved and the land was available, Ina Garten designed her workspace from scratch with the help of architect Frank Greenwald (via The New York Times).

Nicknamed "the barn," Garten's work kitchen includes double ovens, two sub-zero refrigerators, a Viking stove with eight burners, countertops made out of Belgian stone, a 17th-century display cabinet from Italy for kitchenware, and a massive antique Swiss pine eating table, according to The New York Times. The cookbook author explained she didn't want the space to scream new, she wanted the ambiance and architecture to have a dose of "patina."

While the barn was designed for just that, work, Garten tells the news outlet she did it primarily for her writing projects, not her show, Barefoot Contessa. "I didn't do it for TV," she said. "I did it for books. And if it looks like a set, it doesn't feel real." As of today, Garten has released 11 cookbooks, most of which have been brainstormed, tested, and shot in her work kitchen (via Delish). Fabulous!