Two years ago, I stood in line for many hours all for the opportunity to meet Ina Garten during a signing for her cookbook Back to Basics. Well, now she has a new book out (How Easy Is That?), and of course, that meant she was back in town to meet and greet the fans yet again. Like the devotee that I am, I trekked on back to Santa Monica and stood in line for two hours with seemingly every housewife and her daughter in the Los Angeles county environs. Luckily, I wasn’t alone this time: my friend Andrea — a fellow Ina fiend — joined up with me, and together we got to assault Ina with our praise and adoration. Of course, we really wanted to tell her to fix her damn show, but that would have been rude, and who can be rude to Ina? She’s just this wonderful little ball of giggles and joy! Barbara Lieberman on the other hand…
Anyway, after the jump are some pics from my second and Andrea’s first interaction with The Barefoot Contessa…
I didn’t bother taking pictures of the line this year because it was rather unremarkable. I only busted out the camera when we got inside Williams-Sonoma where the signing was taking place…
I tried to take a picture of Ina from afar, but these girls were busy posing. I decided to take a pic of them instead to symbolize the feminine frenzy taking place.
Through the teeming bodies, a glimpse of Ina is caught!
Blurry, yes, but note the joy on both Ina’s face and the girl in the foreground. We were ALL like that. Especially me when I encountered Ina’s assistant Barbara. I couldn’t help myself: “You’re from the show!” I blurted out. She was so sweet and clasped my hands as if to say “There, there. Calm yourself down.” Seriously though, Barbara is the unheralded and overlooked star of Ina’s sidekicks (and NO, I’m not referencing Barbara Lieberman).
Ina signs her umpteenth copy. She’s a machine.
My last hand-held pic of Ina. After this shot, I had to turn my camera over to a Williams-Sonoma employee who would then take pictures of us with Ina.
Here are Andrea and I talking to Ina, telling her how much we love her, and how we do Barefoot Contessa potlucks. Ina was amused, but she wasn’t nearly as engaging as when I first met her. She was sweet but all business.
Meanwhile, Andrea and I were so desperate to ingratiate ourselves into Ina’s world that we forgot to turn around and smile for the camera.
I think Andrea told Ina she loved her about thirty times.
And then I told Ina I loved her about thirty times.
Soon we were quietly pushed to the side.
But we kept talking.
All in all, it was exciting to meet Ina again. It was much faster than last time — an interaction of thirty seconds tops. Last time I felt like it was a minute, and I also felt like I had more of her attention. I felt bad for Andrea that she didn’t get more face time with Ina, but hey, maybe in two years she’ll be back. We still love her regardless. Perhaps too much…