This Movie Scene Was Inspired By Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa

Before Ina Garten was a celebrity chef and cookbook author, she was the owner of a specialty grocery store in the Hamptons called The Barefoot Contessa. Per Food Network, she bought the place in 1978 and built it into a must-see destination before selling it to two of her employees 20 years later. And while the food she served up might have seemed fancy, Garten revealed she is anything but, saying, "When I did fancy things in the store, nobody really bought them. People wanted roast chicken and roasted carrots. I'm inspired by specialty food-store recipes as opposed to restaurants."

Unfortunately, in 2003, the Barefoot Contessa closed its doors, but not before inspiring the director of this now iconic movie to weave the store into a scene in her now blockbuster hit. In fact, this filmmaker was such a huge fan, she confessed to Bon Appetit in November 2018 that the first recipe she ever tried of Garten's was the TV host's sun dried tomato dip. But before she was whipping up this dip, Nancy Meyers, who may be best known for her romantic comedies, was doing a little recon and scouting in the Hamptons to see if the Barefoot Contessa was everything it was rumored to be.

The Barefoot Contessa inspired this Nancy Meyers film

Per Bon Appetit, Nancy Meyers recalled, "I remember going into the real Barefoot Contessa in East Hampton many years ago, hoping to catch a glimpse of her. I bought chicken salad and a cupcake and ate them both on a bench outside the store. They were just as amazing as I had imagined." Meyers was so impressed by the entirety of her experience that she wrote the store into a scene in her Oscar-nominated movie Something's Gotta Give which starred Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Keanu Reeves, Frances McDormand, Jon Favreau, and Amanda Peet (via IMDb). That must have been some darn good chicken salad!

However, before Meyers and her crew could shoot the scene at the Barefoot Contessa, the store had closed up — so Meyers did the next best thing. According to CheatSheet, Meyers recreated the store as only Hollywood can, replete with a black-and-white tile floor, baskets of French bread, and yummy desserts in the display case that was very similar to the real deal. Of course, Meyers isn't the only person in "the biz" who found a way to incorporate Garten into their storyline. Per The Cut, Liz Lemon (played by Tina Fey) from the sitcom 30 Rock, also had a Garten encounter, only 30 Rock actually featured Garten who was Lemon's dream neighbor who brought her bruschetta and white wine. Sounds like our idea of a dream neighbor, too!