Ina Garten Revealed The Only Way To Get On Her Show

Ina Garten brought us the "Barefoot Contessa" and upscale home cooking hasn't been the same since. From her roots as a small, specialty food store owner to her first invitation to readers to create Hamptons-worthy dinner parties, this best-selling cookbook author and food host has been popular since her 1999 cookbook debut (via Food Network). Longtime followers will notice the care she takes with each of her guests, adding personal touches to her regular recipe choices. 

Cooking with friends, Garten has chosen to make a decadent flourless chocolate cake with Giada De Laurentiis, as seen in Food Network episodes, and with Tyler Florence, the chef melted chocolate chips to help create his son Hayden's birthday cake. According to Garten, cooking is a social thing. In a Food Network interview, she revealed, "Cooking is a sharing thing; it's not about the cooking itself. If I'm by myself, I'll have fruit, yogurt and granola, or [I'll] get soup from somewhere nearby, like Loaves & Fishes."

It's clear that the celebrity cook enjoys cooking with company, and her guests clearly feel at home as they combine ingredients. What fans have always wanted to know is: How does Garten choose the guests on her show? Many have asked, and Garten has finally given us an answer.

Ina Garten doesn't like strangers in the kitchen

To join the "Barefoot Contessa" live, you need an introduction. "A lot of people have asked to be guests, but I really keep it to friends. I don't think you can fake a party," she explained. One of Garten's favorites? Tina Fey. "She's wonderful. She's everything you think she is and gorgeous to boot," she said (via Food Network). While this means at-home viewers probably won't get a VIP ticket, that doesn't rule out the many interactive experiences offered to fans.

As for Garten herself, she was happy to cook at home for her husband during the pandemic, but was "over the moon" once she was able to entertain again this spring. Sharing her love for communal food in April she said, "I'm so excited to start thinking about having my friends for dinner again!!! (Once they're vaccinated!!) I miss them so much" (via Instagram).

So while there's only one way to become a guest on "Barefoot Contessa," know that you're getting the authentic friends and family experience when you're watching and learning to cook something tasty.