Ina Garten and Taylor Swift
Taylor has been an Ina fan for years (she owns all of her cookbooks), and Ina has been a longtime Taylor fan (she owns all of her CDs). Food Network Magazine put in a few calls to get them together, and before they knew it, Taylor was in a car heading 100 miles east of New York City to the Hamptons with her mom and brother, and Ina was slicing warm date bread and getting coffee ready for one of the biggest pop stars on the planet. "Just another day at Barefoot Contessa," she joked.
But about the whiskey sours: Ina and Taylor have just put their mustard-roasted fish in the oven and are spreading whipped cream on a Pavlova while bonding over their mutual frustration with people who don't like to eat. "I'll cook for these boys, and they'll be like, 'I'm on a diet,'" Taylor says. "I'm like, 'I can't hang out with you.'" Ina's right there with her. One time, she says, a big television star came to her house for a charity event while on a cleanse and couldn't eat anything. Ina offered the woman a sip of a whiskey sour, and she downed the whole drink and asked for another. "Oh, I've never had a whiskey sour," Taylor says. "I have some in my refrigerator!" Ina replies. And just like that, it's a party. "Hey, Andrea," Taylor calls to her mom. "Come over here. We're day-drinking!" Andrea and Taylor's brother, Austin, come behind the counter, and soon the whole family is tasting Ina's favorite cocktail and diving into the Pavlova with big spoons. No one waits for plates. "I don't always eat it this way," Ina says, laughing.
What started out as a cooking lesson and photo shoot with Taylor and her "hero," as she calls Ina, turns into an impromptu sit-down lunch — the Swift family gathers around Ina's table, talking about Taylor's new apartment in Tribeca and making plans to get together again soon. Taylor invites Ina to her house in Watch Hill, RI; Ina says Taylor should come on her show sometime. Then, in a flurry of hugs and kisses, Taylor is gone. The kitchen is quiet. Ina looks around and says what everyone else is thinking: "Did that really happen?"