The Wholesome Truth About Ina Garten's Friendship With Jennifer Garner

Although Ina Garten is beloved for her laidback style and relatability, the "Barefoot Contessa" counts many celebrities as her friends. Perhaps sparked by the intimacy of cooking together, Garten has formed friendships with several cooking show guests, and hosts, she's met while promoting projects.

Comedian Tina Fey and news anchor Katie Couric parlayed their "Barefoot Contessa" appearances into friendships with Garten (via YouTube). The Food Network star reciprocated with a cameo on Fey's television show, "30 Rock." In 2016, former first lady Michelle Obama also became a friend when Garten prepared a vegetable tart, served on the Obama China, in The White House. In the clip, the compliment-gushing pair toasted their meal by touching their tarts together — remember when we did crazy things like that? Occasionally some of Garten's celebrity friends are foodies. Gwyneth Paltrow, actress, author, and founder of the lifestyle brand, Goop — which makes its own coffee — called making ricotta with Garten in 2010 one of the "most perfect mornings ever" (per Goop). Garten's biggest fan, however, might be Jennifer Garner, who is as lovable and excited about cooking as the famous chef.

The actress, producer, director, and entrepreneur has a passion for food and people's access to it, which led to co-founding Once Upon a Farm, a B-Corp with a line of organic snacks and meals for toddlers. The relaxed home cook often shows her meals online, impressing celebrity chefs like Garten. Channeling her best "Barefoot Contessa," Garner hosts a "cooking show" on Instagram that's adorable, just like the duo's friendship.

Garten and Garner, kindred spirits

In 2015, Ina Garten and Jennifer Garner cooked together at Garner's Los Angeles home to celebrate Garner's birthday. They prepared Swordfish Provencal, Parmesan Kale Chips, and English Chocolate Crisps from Garten's "Make it Ahead" cookbook. The duo's cooking segment is on YouTube, and is highlighted by Garner's enormous smile. Before they met, Garner was familiar with the Food Network star's recipes, saying the cookbooks read like novels. Some of those recipes evoke relaxation and happiness, becoming a tradition for Garner to prepare, like the beef bourguignon recipe she filmed for her #pretendcookingshow, which she famously set on fire (via Instagram).

In 2017, the "Elektra" actress started filming the "Pretend Cooking Show" on her Instagram account to the delight of her viewers, often recreating recipes from the Contessa. Occasionally, Garner has guests on her show, like Garten herself. Viewers can watch Garner dance and sing while blissfully preparing meals. While promoting Garten's cookbook "Modern Comfort Food," Garten zoomed in while the Texas native prepared Crispy Chicken with Lemon Orzo. The two displayed a mutual admiration for each other, and before Garner signed off and drained her Paloma, she remarked that cooking with Garten was a dream come true.  

During an interview with People, Garten expressed a similar warmth towards Garner, saying, "She is adorable and smart and not at all performing — that's just who she is. I just think she's really special." The famous chef added that she loved the "Pretend Cooking Show" Garner created. It seems like a beautiful friendship!