The B&N Podcast: Ina Garten on Jumping into the Deep End

Every author has a story beyond the one that they put down on paper. The Barnes & Noble Podcast goes between the lines with today’s most interesting writers, exploring what inspires them, what confounds them, and what they were thinking when they wrote the books we’re talking about.

It’s hard to believe that The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook was published as recently as 1999, because its author, Ina Garten, has become so indispensable to home cooks around the country and the world. Garten brings together devotion to brilliant flavor, a natural and profoundly personal elegance, and an understanding of that special sustaining community that emerges around a shared meal. If there’s one thing that sets Ina Garten’s books apart from others, it’s their savvy sense of what kind of gentle guidance will let those of us struggling along at home feel ready to leap into new cooking challenge, and in her new book Cook Like a Pro she offers insights into the methods and tricks that she and others use to make the most out of every item in the refrigerator and every tool in the kitchen. So, with Thanksgiving just around the corner, what better time, we thought, then to sit down with the master herself?


In her new cookbook, Cook Like a Pro, Ina Garten shares a brand-new collection of recipes, tips, and techniques, so readers can cook with confidence no matter how much experience they have in the kitchen.

As America’s most trusted and beloved cookbook author, Ina Garten—the Barefoot Contessa—has taught millions of people how to cook. A home cook at heart, Ina knows that cooking and entertaining can be difficult, so to make her recipes simple and streamlined, she tests and retests each recipe until it’s as straightforward and delicious as possible. Although Ina is completely self-taught and doesn’t consider herself to be a “professional” cook, she has spent decades working with chefs and learning the techniques that take their cooking to the next level. In Cook Like a Pro, Ina shares some of her most irresistible recipes and very best “pro tips,” from the secret to making her custardy, slow-cooked Truffled Scrambled Eggs to the key to the crispiest and juiciest Fried Chicken Sandwiches. Ina will even show you how to make an easy yet showstopping pattern for her Chocolate Chevron Cake—your friends won’t believe you decorated it yourself!

For Ina, cooking like a pro also means hosting like a pro, and along with know-how like how to tell when a filet of beef is perfectly cooked, you’ll find dozens of other great ideas to boost your cooking and entertaining skills such as how to set up an elegant home bar and how to make an impressive Raspberry Baked Alaska that can be completely prepared ahead of time so all you need to do is finish it for your guests before serving. Beginner and advanced cooks alike will love Ina’s delectable recipes, and if you have questions along the way, don’t worry—Ina’s practical cooking advice talks you through every detail, as though she were right there by your side.

With beautiful photos and a treasury of pro tips that span prepping, making, and serving, as Ina says, “You don’t have to be a pro to cook like one!”

 See all of Ina Garten’s books

Like this podcast? Subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher to discover intriguing new conversations every week.