Ina Garten Remembers The Worst Party She Ever Hosted

There's nothing Ina Garten loves more than a good dinner party. In fact, for the most part, the "Barefoot Contessa" host prefers to cook for others. "I would never make a meal just for myself — I wouldn't even begin to think about it," the celebrity chef shared with Bon Appétit. "Avocado toast with a fried egg is about the most extravagant thing I'd make." A few of her other favorite solo meals include a simple bowl of fruit, yogurt, and granola or a helping of Irish oatmeal (via Food Network).

For Garten, the most important part about cooking is sharing the food you make with others. The beloved TV personality has lived by that motto ever since she resided in Washington, D.C., when she first started hosting dinner parties (via Food Network). Along with having the best advice for home cooks, she is also everyone's go-to source on how to throw a classy evening soirée. Whether she's whipping up a flawless rack of lamb with orzo and roasted vegetables, or a roast chicken followed by an exquisite French apple tart, both of which are considered signature dishes, the New Yorker has hosting down to a tee. That said, no one is perfect, not even the Barefoot Contessa. In an interview with Indie Bound, Garten recounts the worst party she ever hosted.

For Garten, people are more important than food at a dinner party

We've all fallen victim to the overachieving trap of trying to do too much. Especially when it comes to hosting, it can be difficult finding the balance between pleasing your guests, while also managing to have fun at the same time. Ina Garten has been there once before, too. While she may have seemingly mastered the art of hosting a dinner party, it took a few blunders and learning experiences before she got there. 

When asked if she had "ever experienced a real party disaster," in an interview with Indie Bound, an answer immediately came to mind for Garten. The fateful event occurred while Garten and her husband were living in North Carolina. The newlyweds invited 20 guests over, who were mere acquaintances, and Garten had the ambitious plan to prepare each guest their own omelet. "I knew immediately what I had done wrong. A party isn't about food, it's about people," she shared. "I spent all my time in the kitchen, and from the living room — no talking, no laughter!" 

Another nugget of dinner party wisdom from the Barefoot Contessa? Hosting more than 12 people is just "too exhausting." On the "Today" show, the host of the unique new series "Be My Guest" shared that bigger does not mean better; a dinner party can involve just four people. Duly noted Ina, duly noted!