Ina Garten Bio

Get to know Ina Garten, host of Barefoot Contessa.

Photo by: Rich Freeda ©2013, Cooking Channel, LLC, All Rights Reserved

Rich Freeda, 2013, Cooking Channel, LLC, All Rights Reserved

In 1978, Ina Garten found herself working in the White House on nuclear energy policy and thinking, "There's got to be more to life than this!" She saw an ad for a small food store for sale in a place she'd never been: the Hamptons at the end of Long Island. She and her husband drove up to investigate and made the owner an offer on the spot. Two months later she found herself the owner of Barefoot Contessa, a 400-sq. ft. specialty food store.

Twenty years later, Barefoot Contessa grew to a 3,000-square-foot food emporium where twenty cooks and bakers prepared the food. Twenty-five more employees worked in the store helping thousands of customers to choose breads, salads, dinners and baked goods to take home. In 1996, Ina sold the store to her employees. In 2003, the new owners of Barefoot Contessa decided to close their doors and go on to new adventures.

In 1999, Ina wrote her first book, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, which was one of the best-selling cookbooks of the year. The book invites readers into her specialty food store and shares the recipes that made it such a success. In 2001, Ina followed with best-selling Barefoot Contessa Parties! in which she invites readers into her home and shares her ideas and recipes for having parties that are fun for all — including the host. Her follow-up cookbooks, Barefoot Contessa Family Style (2002), Barefoot in Paris (2004), Barefoot Contessa at Home (2006), Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics (2008), Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? (2010) Barefoot Contessa Foolproof (2012), Make It Ahead (2014) and Cooking for Jeffrey (2016) all continue her style of cooking with easy, delicious, and foolproof recipes that you can make at home.

In 2006, Ina and her business partner Frank Newbold started a successful line of Barefoot Contessa Pantry products, comprised of baking mixes and sauces developed from recipes in her cookbooks.

Ina has been a columnist for Martha Stewart Living magazine, O, the Oprah magazine and House Beautiful magazine.

Ina lives in East Hampton, N.Y., and Southport, Conn., with her husband Jeffrey, who is a professor at the Yale School of Management.

Ina currently hosts Barefoot Contessa on Food Network.

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Most recognizable as the winner of Bravo's Top Chef All-Stars, Richard Blais has played an influential role in hospitality for the last 15 years. He began his career, as so many young aspiring chefs do, as the "poissonnier" at McDonald's. It was here that he first dabbled in deconstruction in cuisine, serving Filet-O-Fish sandwiches sans top bun. His developing passion for food and the service industry led Richard to The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. As an ambitious student, he spent time between semesters studying at the French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., under renowned Chef Thomas Keller and alongside then-rising stars Grant Achatz and Eric Ziebold. Upon graduating from the CIA in 1998, Richard ventured to New York for the opportunity to work with Chef Daniel Boulud at his famous flagship, Restaurant Daniel. Richard then followed his professional compass to Roses, Spain, where he completed a brief stage at El Bulli with culinary wizard Ferran Adrià. In 2000 Richard relocated to Atlanta to oversee a local seafood concept. His wildly creative approach to cooking and cuisine led to the establishment of Trail Blais, a forward-thinking culinary company that has consulted on, designed and operated some of Atlanta's most-popular eateries, including multiple outposts of Flip Burger Boutique and HD-1. He recently launched The Spence, a restaurant concept in midtown Atlanta, and opened Juniper & Ivy, in San Diego, where he offers a refined approach to American cuisine and showcases the seasonal and local ingredients of California. In Richard's debut cookbook, Try This at Home: Recipes from My Head to Your Plate, he reveals a simplified approach to adventurous cooking by sharing new flavor combinations and textures to reinvent home cooks' classic dishes. Each of the 125 recipes is straightforward enough to make at home, but for those who want to try using liquid nitrogen or a sous-vide machine, Richard offers fun variations on his recipes that add another level of excitement in the kitchen. Try This at Home was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award in 2014 in the Cookbook: General Cooking category. In December 2013 Richard appeared as the host of a brand-new television program entitled Cook Your Ass Off. The show, which aired on the HLN network, is a transformational culinary contest that focuses on the health struggles of everyday people. Talented chef contestants are pitted against each other in a three-round competition to transform daily indulgences into healthy and delicious meals. Richard has also appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, Live! with Kelly and Michael, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, as well as in numerous publications, including The New York Times, InStyle and Food & Wine magazine.

David Rose Bio

David Rose is a finalist competing on Food Network Star, Season 13.

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