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Ina Garten makes food fit for a party on her cooking show, Barefoot Contessa. But even the Food Network star admits she doesn’t always eat like she does on her TV show.

Ina Garten arrives at Ina Garten in Conversation with Danny Meyer in 2017
Ina Garten arrives at Ina Garten in Conversation with Danny Meyer in 2017 | Noam Galai/WireImage

Ina Garten only eats fast food from In-N-Out Burger 

Garten, 72, avoids all fast-food restaurants but one. She makes an exception for In-N-Out Burger. 

“I have to say, I don’t eat fast food at all, with one exception,” she told Today Food in a 2018 Youtube video. “When we’re in California doing book tours, we always have to go to In-N-Out Burger. It’s so good and I know it was Julia Child’s favorite too, so it’s okay [sic].”


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To celebrate the end of her 2018 book tour for Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, the celebrity chef met up with Jennifer Garner.

The actor is not only a friend of Garten’s but she’s also a fan. The two shared a meal at In-N-Out Burger, commemorating the occasion with an Instagram post. 

The ‘Barefoot Contessa’ host has a Shake Shack-inspired recipe

Garten may only eat fast food from In-N-Out Burger but there’s a chance she’s tried Shake Shack. Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa, has a recipe for a fried chicken sandwich that’s inspired by the fast-food chain. 

“The chicken is marinated in buttermilk and double-dipped in the coating mixture so that they’re extra crispy,” she wrote on her Barefoot Contessa website in February 2020.

Maybe the cookbook author ventured outside of In-N-Out Burger for Shake Shack only to make these sandwiches? Or a friend of hers talked them up inspiring her to make her own version? Either way, fast food has a place — albeit a small one — in Garten’s world. 

Ina Garten doesn’t cook for herself

So what does Garten eat if she’s not hosting a dinner party or marking the end of a book tour with In-N-Out Burger? The cooking show host keeps it simple. If she’s dining alone she won’t cook for herself. 

“Cooking is a sharing thing; it’s not about the cooking itself,” she once told Food Network.“If I’m by myself, I’ll have fruit, yogurt and granola or get soup from somewhere nearby, like Loaves and Fishes.”

“Avocado toast with a fried egg is about the most extravagant thing I’d make,” she told  Bon Appétit in 2017. “The rest of the time, I go out to dinner or pick up something from a local store like Loaves and Fishes, which has a huge, wonderful menu of delicious things like orange-roasted salmon, beef stew, and Parmesan chicken.”

So when Garten’s not hosting a dinner party she takes even more of an “How easy is that?” approach to food.