“Barefoot Contessa” fans and EAC supporters alike gathered at the East Hampton home of Food Network star Ina Garten on July 25, 2014, for an intimate Garden Party benefiting Suffolk County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) at the Pat & Mary Bagnato Place for Kids, a program of EAC Network.
Garten got involved with EAC Network thanks to author and kidnap survivor Katie Beers, a former Barefoot Contessa employee. “I’m here to support the EAC Network’s Child Advocacy Center and Ina Garten is doing an amazing Garden Party today,” Beers told Hamptons. “I’m super excited to be here and support everything that’s going on.”
“Simple things that taste good on their own,” noted Garten when talking about her favorite foods. She can’t get enough of fresh, ripe fruit like luscious peaches and ripe melon with prosciutto. For those of you wondering what item The Barefoot Contessa tries to avoid cooking with at all costs, it’s cilantro. “I can taste it when somebody next to me is eating it,” Garten joked with the press before her guests arrived when asked to name her least favorite food.
While in the Hamptons, Garten loves to walk to the beach, eat at the wonderful restaurants, shop at the farmers markets, tend to her immaculate gardens, and of course throw dinner parties for friends. We asked Garten if she could invite anyone to one of her famous dinner parties, who it be, and to those who watch “Barefoot Contessa,” is pretty obvious, it’s her husband Jeffery. “He’s the best guest,” noted Garten. But if she could invite absolutely anyone, it would be the legendary Julia Child.
During the afternoon at Garten’s East Hampton home, attendees took the opportunity to tour the test kitchen where Garten films the Food Newtork show as well as her many gardens.
A few dedicated attendees even traveled from out of state to attend the benefit and meet Garten. “Our birthdays are in the month of June and one of Courtney’s favorite things to do and what she really wanted to do one day is to meet Ina out of all the favorite food network stars, it’s one of her favorites,” said Julie Gabriel, who traveled all the way from Nashville, Tennessee. “We decided to make it a long week and have fun.”
“We come out here [to the Hamptons] a lot, but when we heard Ina was hosting this fundraiser, I felt like I had to be here because she’s my go to lady whenever I have a party,” said Janice Platti, a guest who traveled all the way from Texas. “I read everyone of her cookbooks, so this is just exciting to be here.”
For more information about Suffolk County Child Advocacy Center, visit www.eacinc.org.