Authors@Google: Ina Garten

Uploaded by AtGoogleTalks on 26.01.2011

>>Marissa: Good morning. Thank you guys, all, for coming. We are very excited today to be
welcoming the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, here to San Francisco.
>>Ina: Not nearly as excited as I am to be here.
>>Marissa: And Ina's here for the Fancy Food Show, but we were lucky to snag her for a
visit here today. And so, by the way, we also have-- she has a new cookbook out called "How
Easy Is That?" And so, there's a hundred of those available if you wanna snag one. Ina
will sign cookbooks afterwards and you can come up and meet her and ask her your questions.
We also have the questions on the Dory Page, but we're really, really excited to have you.
So, I'm gonna go ahead and go through a little bit of your background which I think everyone
here is probably already familiar with, but I think there's some really great parts to
it. So, Ina and I met last April at a women's event and we got to hear a little bit about
our stories, each other's stories and it was just really fun. And we've met again since,
through our friend, Juliet du Baubigny at Kleiner Perkins, one of our original VC firms
because Juliet turns out to be Ina's neighbor--
>>Ina: Next door neighbor of all things.
>>Marissa: in the Hamptons.
[Marissa laughs]
And so, I went to see Juliet this summer and we were going to dinner at her neighbors'
and it turned out to be Ina, so we met again there. And so, I actually have had dinner
and brunch in Ina's famous kitchen.
[Marissa laughs]
>>Ina: It was one of my--
>>Marissa: And it was really, really amazing.
>>Ina: great pleasures. It was one of my great pleasures to say to Juliet, "Oh, I know Marissa."
[Ina and Marissa laugh]
>>Marissa: I had one of the best coffee cake I've ever had with sugar rolled into the crust;
it was amazing.
[Ina and Marissa laugh]
But Ina's story is really fascinating because she started off working in the White House.
>>Ina: I did. Nuclear energy policy. How light is that?
>>Marissa: I was gonna say, it's amazing. Budget analyst, writing the nuclear energy
budget and policy papers on nuclear centrifuge for Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.
[Ina and Marissa laugh]
>>Ina: You know, science, cooking; it actually is related.
Except, instead of hydrochloric acid, you end up with coffee cake.
>>Marissa: I think we can all appreciate that. All of us here like to apply science in unusual
>>Ina: It's more fun.
>>Marissa: So, and then as she was working there, saw an ad for a specialty food store
that was for sale in the Hamptons called "The Barefoot Contessa," and she bought the store
and scaled it. And so, much like we've scaled Google, Ina scaled it from a 400 square foot
shop to now over three thousand square foot shop. It moved twice and was this very, very
successful business. She sold it to two of the employees in 1996, and then wrote a cookbook.
And I actually want Ina to tell the story, but I think it was really interesting about
how you made the bridge from the store to the cookbook.
>>Ina: Actually, Marissa and I were talking about this, I always wanted to-- I'd been
doing the store for about 20 years and I thought, "You know, it's really time to do something
else." And for a couple of years, I was saying, "Well, what is that? What is that? I've gotta
know what it is." And a friend of mine said to me, "Type A people think they can figure
out what they're gonna do next while they're doing something, and they can't."
She said, "You have to quit. You just have to do nothing for a year." And so, that's
when I thought, "OK, I'll sell the store to two employees, the chef and the manager, and
then I'll just have nothing to do."
If you think that's easy, it's not. I built myself an office upstairs in the building
that we had, where the store was and I sat there for a year with nothing to do. My husband,
Jeffrey, is at Yale, and he would leave on Monday and come back on Friday. And when he
left on Monday one week, I said, "I have nothing to do."
I said, "Wait a minute." I looked at my schedule. I said, "I have a manicure on Wednesday and
that's it."
But it really was out of sheer, total boredom. One day I'd been baking a thousand baguettes
and running a store with a hundred employees, and the next day had nothing to do. After
about, I think, nine months, out of sheer boredom I thought, "Well, I have to do something."
And Jeffrey said, "Stay in the game. You love the food business. Just do something in the
food business." And I thought, "Well, I never wanted to write a cookbook" cause I thought
it would be boring, but, "OK, maybe I'll write a cookbook just so I have something to do
tomorrow." And it never would have happened if I hadn't started and then it turned out
cookbook writing is really interesting.
>>Marissa: And of course…
>>Ina: So, it was very good advice.
>>Marissa: … the cookbooks led to the television show--
>>Ina: Television show, yes--
>>Marissa: which I heard that you actually turned down the proposal the first time around.
>>Ina: Over and over and over again.
Food Network was at a moment--and Marissa knows this-- Food Network was at a moment
when they had the French chefs with the big toques and everybody, and there was nothing;
triple-layer mousses and there was one woman at Food Network who said, "I think it should
be of people that do home-cooking, people who really understand how people cook at home."
And she went out and found four people. She found Rachel Ray, Paula Dean, Giada and me,
and to this day, that really is the basis of Food Network. And I just said, "No, no,
no, no, no, I could never do that. Cooking on television? Forget it." So, she went away
and came back about six months later with a better offer.
And I thought, and I said, "No, no, no. I'm not negotiating. I really don't want to do
this." She came back six months later with a better offer--
and I was like, "No. Go away."
And in the meantime, a friend of mine who had gone to Australia and seen a TV show,
a cooking show, that he thought was interesting and so I went to Food Network and said, "Could
you get me a copy of this show so I could see it?" And it was fantastic. And I said,
"But I still don't wanna do a TV show."
And so, the Food Network went to London, found the producer, hired them and called me and
said, "They're coming to East Hampton. Now will you do it?" And I was like, "Whoa." So,
I agreed to do 13 shows, thinking that would solve that and here we are nine years later.
[Ina laughs]
>>Marissa: And an Emmy. I mean, I will say that actually, the Emmy is as sharp, heavy,
and pointy as you'd expect.
[Ina laughs]
>>Ina: It is.
>>Marissa: One of the dinner guests managed to see it tucked deep in the corners amidst
some papers in Ina's office.
>>Ina: Oh, really?
>>Marissa: We all went in and held it, so--
>>Ina: It has a twin. It has a twin sister now.
A second one.
>>Marissa: A pair of them. And I will say, I mean, Ina obviously is just phenomenally
popular, admired all over. The first day that I met her, as I said, we were at this women's
event and it happened, and just by happenstance, Oprah Winfrey happened to be there. And when
I first met Ina, Oprah Winfrey, there was a fan of Ina's that was so excited to see
Ina; she shoved Oprah out of the way.
She was like, "Oh my God! Ina Garten!" And I was like, "That was Oprah."
>>Ina: And there I
was standing on the podium and Oprah's next to me and she didn't speak to me the whole
time. I thought, until a few nights ago, I never understood why.
[Ina laughs]
>>Marissa: So, that's a little bit of background. So, we have some questions. I have some questions,
here. We have questions from our group and we also can take questions from the mic. So,
if you wanna ask Ina a question, you can come here. We have mics in the center and on the
side here if you wanna ask a question.
>>Ina: I'll bet there's an algorithm for hearing the most popular question. Where else?
[Ina laughs]
>>Marissa: And actually, the question I was gonna start with is at the top of the Dory,
so I will just go to that, which is, "Well, my question was do you have a favorite dish
that you just love to make?" And I know it's hard; it's almost like asking someone to pick
a favorite child.
>>Ina: Child. No, no no. It's actually, I have a few. I have a few, but my go-to meal
when somebody's coming, they've never been there before and I've got a million things
going on, is a meal that's in my Parties book, which is rack of lamb and orzo with roasted
vegetables and it's so easy and it's absolutely delicious and nobody can believe that you,
I mean, everybody thinks you worked all day on it.
[Ina laughs]
>>Marissa: So, I guess that's the go-to. What do you think makes a good chef? It's hard,
but what are the qualities?
>>Ina: That's a really interesting question. I just think if people that really, I think
what-- I'm not a restaurant chef, I'm not brilliant cook. I just think I really care
about flavor and the texture of how things taste. And so, I think if somebody's really
interested in that, you're willing to just keep going until it's exactly the way you
want it to be, rather than settling. And somebody once said to me, and it's really amazingly
true, "There are two ingredients that everybody has in their house that is very often the
difference between something that's fairly ordinary and something that's absolutely delicious,
and it's salt and pepper."
[audience chuckles]
It's -- most things aren't seasoned properly and I think that really makes a huge difference
and I'm not happy unless it tastes fantastic. So, I think that's really what makes a good
chef -- is a real passion for a really satisfying, delicious, and it can be also a very simple
>>Marissa: Sure. So, is that what you would say the biggest mistake most chefs make is
not seasoning properly?
>>Ina: Biggest mistake: salt. It's amazing what a difference it makes. The other day,
I was testing a recipe for braised lamb shanks for my next book and I said to my assistant,
"Taste it and see what you think." And I hadn't tasted it – the finished -- ; it had just
come out of the oven and she said, "Mmm, it's OK. It's not great." And I tasted it and I
said, "OK, I'll be right back." Salt, pepper and a splash of white wine and I said, "Taste
it now." And she was like, "Oh my God! This is the best thing I ever ate."
And it was the same dish. It was so amazing what that, so I think that's the biggest mistake.
>>Marissa: Very cool. So, let me have a couple of, I think I have a quick question just to
pick your brain.
[Ina laughs]
>>Ina: Let's see, the smartest people on the planet.
[Ina laughs]
[audience laughs]
Just go ask anything.
>>Marissa: One was three cooking utensils that are the most important to you.
>>Ina: Good, sharp knives. Critical. Doesn't have to be a hundred knives; it has to be
three really, good knives. I love a zester, like those rasps because I usually think that
the zest on a lemon or an orange or something has more flavor than the juice itself. And
half-sheet pans; I have a stack of them. Everything goes in a half-sheet: brownies, roasted carrots,
rack of lamb, everything. I mean, obviously you need more equipment than that, like an
But, I mean, those are things I literally couldn't live without.
>>Marissa: So, another question from the Dory. Say it's your last day. It's kind of morbid,
[Ina laughs]
What would your meal be?
>>Ina: Well, that's interesting because I actually was asked this question. Somebody
auctioned off a cocktail party or something for benefit, and these young women came; they
were just adorable. And they said-- one of them was British-- and she said, "What's your
hangman’s meal?" And I was like, "What's that?"
It turns out it's the same thing; it's your last dinner. And I said, "I don't know what
it would be, but I know it would have really good Chateau de Camp Sauternes with every
single course."
So, the first one might be foie gras. I know it's completely not PC, but it would be foie
gras. The second one would probably be a lobster, like a grilled lobster thing, which is great
with Chateau de Camp. And the third one would be a very thin French apple tart with Chateau
de Camp. So, I think--
the prison would be really out of a lot of money if I ordered that as my last meal.
>>Marissa: We'll go ahead and take a question from the audience.
>>audience #1: Hi. Hello. I'd like to ask about copyright intellectual property issues
in writing a cookbook. I've got a wonderful pile of recipes from aunts and Mom and acquaintances
and can you use those in a cookbook?
>>Ina: As long as they're not copyrighted, yes, absolutely. Sure.
>>audience #1: Thanks.
>>Ina: That shouldn't be any problem. I would probably ask their permission just to be nice.
>>audience #1: Some of them are so old. They're 30 years old and I have no idea where they
came from.
[Ina laughs]
>>Ina: Well, yeah. Absolutely you could--
>>audience #1: Thanks.
>>Ina: and that would be wonderful to publish all those old recipes.
>>audience #1: Thank you.
>>Marissa: And we have a lot of people who are interested in the actual filming of the
television show. So, is it actually filmed in your kitchen?
>>Ina: It is filmed in my house. It actually is and we've been doing it there, originally
in my house and then I built this huge barn, which Marissa knows, next door. So, my commute
to work is about 50 yards.
[Ina laughs]
And yeah, we do film that. I just think it always feels like a set and I love when we
do the parties. It's a real party. They're my friends and I tell the director, "Just
leave us alone." We just have to have a good time; you can't fake it. If you're not having
a good time, it doesn't look like a good time. So, it's really wonderful. I love the people.
It's the same producer that originally started and yeah, it's great. And I get to cook in
my own kitchen.
[Ina and Marissa laugh]
>>Marissa: And then a compliment in the form of a question of, "Does Jeffrey know he's
the luckiest man in the world?"
>>Ina: The dirty little secret is I'm high maintenance.
He was stopped at a restaurant recently and someone said, "Do you know that you're the
best fed man in America?" He didn't take that quite as a compliment.
>>Marissa: And everyone here knows, but we had Ina do our Thanksgiving Doodle and so--
>>Ina: That was so much fun.
>>Marissa: The original idea was well; we knew we wanted to maybe have a chef cook the
Doodle. And then we thought, "OK. What chef is really popular who would be cooking a Thanksgiving
dinner?" And so, we asked Ina to do it. She obliged and so then we were so inspired by
it that we realized we didn't just want to run it on Thanksgiving Day; we wanted to do
it in the lead-up to Thanksgiving.
>>Ina: So people could shop for the ingredients.
>>Marissa: So people could shop for the ingredients and do the recipes. And so, our Doodler staff
was also in the kitchen and has also done a photo shoot with Ina. And so, one of the
questions is, "What was it like being involved in the Google Doodle?"
>>Ina: Well, I mean, it started out with an email from Marissa and she knows I was walking
around all day going, "Oh my God!"
It was wonderful. It was absolutely wonderful. It was in the middle of my book tour and the
only day that we could find to do it was a Sunday. So, I mean, they flew in and it was
Preston and Mike Dutton. Preston Hershorn and Mike Dutton if they're here. And, oh,
there they are.
And it was so much fun and you just think, "Oh, we'll just whip something up." And as
we all know from the photo shoot, it's never "you just whip something up." We had two turkeys
ready; we had two of everything. And it was a real exciting day. It was wonderful.
>>Marissa: It was a beautiful day.
>>Ina: And it was fun to see the photographs that we were taking. The photographer had
the digital image, and then to see Mike and Preston move it into the actual Doodle. So,
it was thrilling. It doesn't get any better than that.
>>Marissa: We had a great response to that.
>>Ina: Did you have a great response?
>>Marissa: We had a great response to that.
>>Ina: OK, good.
>>Marissa: I mean, probably you saw some of that, too, but we were out on NPR, like hundreds
of mentions all over the Web--
>>Ina: Oh how fabulous.
>>Marissa: and let alone the tweets, right? The tweets just were I think, probably numbered
in the hundreds of thousands.
>>Ina: I saw there was a panic somewhere.
That was good. That was a good description.
>>Marissa: So, one of the questions is, "Since you're here in the Bay area, are there any
restaurants that you love going out to here?"
>>Ina: Well, I love being here because the food is amazing. I mean, just from the farmer's
market at the Ferry Building, but I have to say secretly, the best meal I've ever had
was at Marissa's house and it was the chef at Quince, which is just fantastic.
It was really stunning; both the food and the wine, it was just incredible. Thank you.
>>Marissa: This is Michael Tusk, one of the local chefs. He did a really good job. His
pasta is just to die for. That's what he's most known for.
>>Ina: It was just fantastic. And last night, we went to Tyler Florence's restaurant, Wayfare
Tavern, which was great. Which was great. Everybody, I love, there's something just
so democratic about food here. It's just available to everybody and I've always loved Zuni Cafe.
And the first time I went there, we took a taxi from the hotel to the cafe and the taxi
driver said, "Oh, you've just gotta get the roast chicken and the Caesar salad." And I
thought, "How great is that?"
And here, everybody always telling we're going to Wayfare Tavern and they were like, "Oh,
you have to get the fried chicken and you have to put the lemon on it. It's really important."
I was like, "That's good."
So, I just love that it's available to everybody who really cares about good food and it shows.
>>Marissa: We've got a live question.
>>Ina: Oh. Hi.
>>audience #2: Hi Ina, and thanks so much for coming. This is really fun.
>>Ina: Thank you for inviting me.
>>audience #2: So, I think it's safe to say that you've been a really big inspiration
to a lot of people who either haven't cooked before or who just want to enhance their skills
and whatnot and become better chefs.
>>Ina: Thank you.
>>audience #2: But what I'm curious to find out is what inspires you and if you could
walk us through the process of what it's like to come up with a new recipe and put something
>>Ina: You know, a friend of mine always said, and I think it's really true, "You can't have
ideas sitting home by yourself." You have to get out there, especially in this design
world and the world of food; you have to see what's going on. One thing that I learned
about having a specialty food store is the food that you eat at home is very different
from the food you eat in a restaurant. And so, it's home cooking that I'm really interested
in. When I first started, I would do like, veal with morels in the store and nobody would
buy it.
And then I remember putting out a huge platter of chicken that had fresh herbs on the platter.
It looked just gorgeous. Nobody bought one of them. So, I took the platter, I went back
into the kitchen and I came out with chicken in those little, red paper cups that you get
French fries in and lined them up on the counter and they just flew out of the store. So, I
thought, "OK, it's about home cooking." And so, what I like to do is go to specialty food
stores, but even sometimes I go to Milan and see the colors of the new fashions. And one
year, I remember when I was doing my first book, they were doing cantalope and azure
blue and raspberry together and I thought, "Oh, that's good for the colors of the book."
And that's what I did. So, I think about something that I would wanna eat and I say this-- I'm
like an idiot savant about what people want to eat-- nobody wants to eat fish eyeballs
in foam.
You wanna eat roast chicken and rack of lamb. And so, I start with an idea of what I want
it to taste like and what I want the texture to be, and if I don't I never get where I'm
going. But if I do, it's that little ping in my head that says, "OK, that's exactly
what I was looking for." And it could take two tries or it could take 25 tries, but I
don't stop until I get there.
>>audience #2: And then you've [ ] a lot of books, TV show, what's next for you?
>>Ina: I always say this; if it just stays just the way it is right now, I'll be very
happy. And then something comes along the screen and I go, "Oh, that might be fun."
But it's gotta be fun.
>>audience #2: Thanks.
>>Ina: Thank you. Hi.
>>audience #3: Thank you very much for coming. My question is actually very similar to hers.
I think that you've all given us a very inspirational story for how you've gotten to where you are
now, but I think a lot of us are curious to know what's on the horizon? If there are any
things, a direction for your next cookbook, or if there's something aside from writing
cookbooks or appearing on TV that you'd like to do with the inspirational journey that
you've already gone on?
>>Ina: I just always, I keep doing, I get up in the morning, I think, "What would be
interesting to do today?" And it's just, for me, just putting one foot in front of another
and doing what I think is really interesting and challenging myself. And I always feel
like the rest of it follows.
>>audience #4: I have two teenage daughters who are 15 and 17 and I'm realizing they're
gonna go off to college soon and I haven't done a very good job of teaching them how
to cook.
[Ina laughs]
We normally go to Panda Express, but--
[Ina laughs]
I'm working on that. I'm working on that. I was just wondering if you have any tips
on teaching our children, our teenagers how to cook so that they like it, so that they
don't associate it with a chore--
>>Ina: Work.
>>audience #4: and any particular tips or recipes that you have for teenagers.
>>Ina: Well, I think now it's not the situation where mom's at home all the time and teaching
everybody how to cook and enjoying it and transferring that pleasure. I actually think
Food Network has been amazing because kids all watch Food Network. And particularly,
I like that boys, eight year old boys are cooking because of Bobby Flay and Emeril and
all the guys who are. It's fun. They just see that its fun, that it's really exciting
and I think the biggest lesson, is that if you cook, everybody shows up. And it's that
simple. It really is, so if you enjoy everybody showing up, they'll learn to cook.
>>audience #5: Hey.
>>Ina: Hi.
>>audience #5: Thanks for coming.
>>Ina: Sure.
>>audience #5: I have a two part question. So, I just read Anthony Bourdain's book, "Medium
Raw", and have related to your fish eyes and--
>>Ina: Yeah. Blerg.
>>audience #5: First, what's your take on Anthony Bourdain and what's he like in person
if you ever met him?
Just cause I love him, and second--
>>Ina: I love Anthony Bourdain.
>>audience #5: Do you think home cooking can be as high culinary as these crazy creations
such as making foams and eating eyeballs and other kind of small plate type things where
you pay a lot of money?
>>Ina: Well, a lot of this really molecular gastronomy requires equipment and I would
never have that equipment cause nobody has it. I think home cooking is much more satisfying,
more traditional. I think people go out sometimes for a satisfying meal, but also to be challenged.
So, I think that-- I went to a restaurant with a friend of mine and she ordered oyster
ice cream and I was just like, "Oh God, nobody ever needs to eat oyster ice cream."
So, this doesn't inspire me to wanna make it at home, but I think you certainly can.
But you always have the feeling, I remember when I was first married, I read an article
for young brides, which was eons ago, that said if you spend the entire day making dinner
for your husband, he can't possibly appreciate it enough. And it’s not his fault, it's
your fault. So, if you spend the entire day making dinner for your friends or your family
or whatever, they can't possibly appreciate it enough. They're gonna eat it in half an
hour no matter what it is. So, I think the simpler it is, the more satisfying it is to
them, but also to you. So, I think, and actually I think Anthony Bourdain's fantastic. I love
what he does. I actually haven't met him, but I love his work and he's fantastic.
[Ina laughs]
>>Marissa: I think it's interesting because one of the things we do here at Google is
we have this thing we call "Dog Food."
>>Ina: Dog Food?
[Ina laughs]
>>Marissa: Meaning to eat your own dog food. So, one of the things we do is similar to
you having just one oven and trying to put yourself in the space of the users is--
>>Ina: Yes, yes.
>>Marissa: we make a point of using all the Google products.
>>Ina: That's really nice. Exactly the same thing--
>>Marissa: So, like everything, Google Docs runs on, we do all of our doc work on Google
>>Ina: Yeah.
>>Marissa: and Calendar and Android phones and so--
>>Ina: That's funny; eat your own dog food.
>>Marissa: everyone uses the products so they can really be in the place of the user, and
in your case, of the viewer, the person trying to cook.
>>Ina: I think that's a really important point. And actually, once I figured out a recipe,
that's just the beginning of how I test the recipe. I then hand the recipe, once I figured
exactly what I want to do, I hand it to my assistant and I say to her-- she's never with
nothing else other than a printed page-- I say, "Make this." And I sit there and watch
her. And she does the craziest things--
that would never occur to me to do. And so then I write the recipe around that because
that's what somebody at home is gonna do. And I've been in the food business too long;
it would never occur to me to stir the caramel with a spoon. So, you have to swirl it in
the pan. And then the next thing I do is what I call "road testing" it, which is, I put
it together with a meal and I feed it to my friends and sometimes they're invited for
six desserts because I wanna see which one they wanna eat. And that's my road testing
the recipes.
>>Marissa: Road testing the coffee cake was unbelievable.
>>Ina: Thank you.
>>Marissa: I'm hoping the recipe is in the book.
>>Ina: It is.
[Ina and Marissa laugh]
It's on my email; I'll send it to you.
>>Marissa: Let's go ahead for another question there.
>>audience #6: Would you mind sharing a story of making a dish that went horribly wrong?
[Ina and audience #6 laugh]
>>Ina: Horribly wrong. I tend not to make something that I haven't made before, literally
even for dinner for Jeffrey. I do remember when we first got married, I made some recipe
that had ground beef and corn in it that was just dreadful.
Something that's just gone horribly wrong. I remember a dessert just didn't happen right.
I mean, I don't know what happened and it was the genesis. I thought, "Oh my God. People
are coming in like, an hour, and I don't have dessert." And I decided, well, I had some
creme fraiche and honey and vanilla and I made honey vanilla creme fraiche for the berries
that I had in the refrigerator. And it was the genesis of one of the best recipes I've
written. It was really simple and it was, it's out of the disastrous that something
good comes out of it.
>>audience #7: Hi. I have just a quick question related to the last question. How do you handle
it when a recipe fails and you have company? Do you apologize? Do you ignore it? What's
the best steps of handling and communicating the disaster?
>>Ina: I say nobody ever needs to know.
It's that simple. I remember being at a friend’s house for a dinner party and we're all, it
was like, 20 people for dinner and we were all having cocktails and everybody’s having
a good time and it got later and later and later. And everybody said, "You go into the
kitchen and find out what's going on." So, I went in and it turns out she had set out
all the first courses on the table and her two dogs had jumped on the table and gone
all the way down the table and eaten everybody's first course.
And she was trying to make a first course. And I said to her, "You know what? Just forget
the first course. Let's just have dinner, we'll sit down and nobody will ever know."
So, nobody ever needs to see you sweat.
>>audience #7: Great.
>>Ina: And if all else fails, there's always take-out pizza. And you can, a friend of mine
actually has what she calls her "disaster Christmas party." Every year something horrible
happens and they just laugh about it and those are the ones -- the caterer got stuck in traffic
and then the sofa caught on fire one time.
It's always something, and those are the best parties.
So, you just have a good laugh about it and nobody ever needs to know.
>>audience #7: Thank you.
>>audience #8: Hi. As a beginning home cook, out of college where all you cook with is
a microwave and whatever you steal from a cafe.
[Ina laughs]
What are the three basic things that you need for a home cook -- because I think watching
TV shows, it can be very overwhelming. They have a Kitchen Aid, a food processor and everything.
>>Ina: I'm thinking if there's anything that you can't cook if you have knives and half-sheet
pans. You can make roast chicken, you can make roast carrots, and maybe one sauce pan
that you can make some pasta in. You really, this is a book I'd really love to write is
the only ten recipes you need to know, because if you can make a roast chicken, you can make
roast Cornish hens; you can make a roast turkey. It's the same process; it's just slightly
different times. If you can make a chicken pot pie, you can make a lobster pot pie; you
can make a vegetable pot pie. So, choose one thing, like a roast chicken, which is actually
really simple to do; test it when you don't have any guests, so you learn how to do it
and just keep making it over and over again. Hi.
>>audience #9: Thanks for coming here today and--
>>Ina: Nice to see you again.
>>audience #9: my wife is definitely one of your biggest fans.
>>Ina: Thank you.
>>audience #9: So, we talked a little bit about how you got into television, but you
also made the jump from the White House to the Barefoot Contessa. And I was just wondering
if you could talk a little bit about what inspired you to do that and what advice you
would give to other people who are looking to make that sort of a career jump.
>>Ina: Well, you know, when I was in my 20s, my husband was in the White House in the State
Department; he worked for Kissinger. And I just thought I was the leading generation
of women that were starting to work; it never occurred to me to have a career. And so, in
my 20s, I wanted to grow up to be Jeffrey. And when I hit 30, I thought, "He's great,
but I don't wanna be him."
He's like the intellectual in the family. I just wanna have fun. So, what I used to
do when I wasn't working was have dinner parties -- every Saturday, I'd have a dinner party
and I'd work my way through Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking", Volume
I and Volume II, and I thought, "Well, maybe I should be doing that instead." And I was
sitting in my office in the White House, trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew
up and there was an ad for a specialty foods store for sale. And I went home and I said
to Jeffrey, "I gotta do something else." And he said, "Well, pick something you think would
be really fun. Pick something. Don't worry about making money. Think about what you love
to do because if you love it, you'll be really good at it." And I said, "Funny you should
mention it."
I saw this ad and bless his heart, he said, "Let's go look at it tomorrow." So, I really
had no idea what I was getting into, but I knew I was going. The White House wasn't an
option anymore. Nuclear energy policy wasn't my passion. And I loved, if it's anybody's,
I don't know.
It must be somebody's.
>>audience #9: Actually, I do energy policy here at Google and I used to work in the White
House doing energy policy.
>>Ina: I'm sorry?
>>audience #9: I used to work in the White House doing energy policy--
>>Ina: You're kidding.
>>audience #9: and I actually do energy work here at Google.
>>Ina: Isn't it great?
>>audience 9: But it's my passion.
>>Ina: Congratulations.
[uproarious laughter]
What administration did you work in?
>>audience #9: Clinton.
>>Ina: Oh my goodness. That's fabulous. So you know exactly how I feel.
[Ina laughs]
>>audience #9: But I'm not looking to make a career change, just so you know.
Thank you.
>>Ina: Thank you. Congratulations, that's a great career move.
>>Marissa: So, we have time for just a few more questions. Let's, we got, I think, three
here. So, yeah.
>>audience #10: Hi, Ina.
>>Ina: Hi.
>>audience #10: Great to see you here at Google. I am not much of a cook, but my wife is a
huge fan.
>>Ina: Thank you.
>>audience #10: With the tablet computer set to invade kitchens, could you give us an--
>>Ina: I'm so sorry. Can you speak a little louder? I can't quite hear.
>>audience #10: With the tablet computers--
>>Ina: Yes.
>>audience #10: set to invade kitchens--
>>Ina: Mm-hmm.
>>audience #10: Hopefully, lots of Google-based tablets.
>>Ina: Yes.
>>Marissa: Android tablets to invade kitchens.
>>audience #10: Could you give us an artist’s perspective on how you see technology helping
us become better cooks?
>>Ina: Well, I think one of the things about tablets that can actually work is, for example,
I have my latest book on an e-book through Amazon and I know it’s a thing that you're
carrying with you, so I thought, "Well, how can we make this more appropriate for shopping,
say?" So, all the recipes are in the— it's the whole book-- but also every ingredient,
you can click on the ingredient and it tells you what a Bosque pear looks like and it tells
you how to know whether a Bosque pear is ripe when it's brown or green. Or should it be
soft or should it be hard when it's ripe? Or, you go to the olive oil section and it
says there are a million olive oils. You just can't imagine what to choose. They are the
two that I recommend; one's more inexpensive, one's more expensive. So, it can have a lot
of information for you and I think it will go towards when you get to, you can tap on
the-- when you're cooking--you can tap on the word "whip" and you'll see what it means
if you're really a beginning cook, if you need all that help. If you're not a beginning
cook, you just cruise right past it. So, I think it can have a lot of depth that just
a plain printed recipe can't do. So, hopefully that's where we're going.
>>audience #11: I just wanna say, I absolutely adore you and my kids and I have a ritual
every night that we have you on in the background while we're making dinner together.
>>Ina: Thank you. I love that you're making dinner with your kids. That's great.
>>audience #11: So, they're gonna be thrilled that I [ ]. But I just think you're so warm
and loving and you're, it just really comes across.
>>Ina: Thank you.
>>audience #11: But my question for you is when I read that Barefoot Contessa was sold,
I was really wondering why you didn't buy it back at that point and why you let it go?
And where is it now? And I've always been curious about that.
>>Ina: About the store?
>>audience #11: Yeah, exactly.
>>Ina: Well, actually, when I made the decision that it was time to sell the store to the
employees, and that I was gonna take it off, it never occurred to me. I thought that era
of Barefoot Contessa was over and I was gonna do something else. And then when I started
writing books, I said to them, "Well, do you want me to write Barefoot Contessa books?
Cause they own the store. Or, should I do Ina Garten books?" And they said, "No, no,
no. Please, please, do Barefoot Contessa books." So, as time went on and they decided they
wanted to go on, one wanted to have a restaurant and the other one had children or didn't want
to work anymore, I actually bought the business back.
>>audience #11: Oh, OK.
>>Ina: So, I do own Barefoot Contessa. Yeah, so it worked.
>>audience #11: Oh, good. Now, where does Jeffrey go? I always wonder, where's he going?
>>Ina: Yale.
>>audience #11: OK.
>>Ina: He was the Dean of the, well, he was a lot of things. He was an investment banker;
he was in the Clinton Administration--
>>audience #11: OK.
>>Ina: and he was the Dean of the business school at Yale. I know he looks like a crazy
Like all he does is just sit there or go shopping for oranges for me on the show.
>>audience #11: Right.
>>Ina: But he's really a smart guy.
>>audience #11: Well, he always comes back for his roasted chicken on Friday night.
>>Ina: Right, that's right. On Monday, he goes to New Haven where he now teaches at
Yale, among other things, and then comes back on Friday. That's the roast chicken night.
>>audience #11: [ ] where does he come from? OK. Thank you.
>>Marissa: Ina and Jeffrey are the power couple. In fact, I have lots of emails from Googlers
who had gotten their Yale MBAs, including Lazlo Bock, who's--
>>Ina: Oh, really? Oh.
>>Marissa: our head of HR here.
>>Ina: Oh, fabulous.
>>Marissa: And so he wanted to come and say hello because he was like, "Oh, I know Ina
and Jeffrey."
>>Ina: Yeah, Jeffrey has his own rep. I was having dinner one night at a restaurant in
East Hampton with Susan Stroman, who is the producer, no, the director and choreographer
of "The Producers", among other things, and Mel Brooks and Nathan Lane and Jeffrey and
me. And somebody from across the restaurant was coming towards us and Susan Stroman, who
we call "Stro" said, "Oh my God. I don't know who she's gonna, who this persons gonna come
after. Is it Mel? Oh, he's gonna be thrilled. Is it Nathan? He's gonna be really upset."
And the person came right over and said, "Oh my God. Jeffrey Garten."
So, he has his own base of fans.
It was like, "Get out of the way, Mel Brooks."
>>Marissa: OK, so we'll take one more question and then we'll have casual questions after.
>>audience #12: Hi, Ina.
>>Ina: Hi.
>>audience #12: I was just wondering if you would ever consider being on Iron Chef, and
if you were, who would you battle and what would you want the secret ingredient to be?
>>Ina: Well, I'd definitely pick a non-cook. You know, the truth is, I'm not a restaurant
chef. I can make something perfectly delicious if I have enough time to do it, but I admire
those guys enormously. You really have to be a line cook and a chef to be able to do
those. I mean, if somebody gave me oysters and heavy cream and said, "Make something
out of this." I'd have a total meltdown.
So, I actually cook the way you do. I'm really a home cook. I know how to do it, I've had
a little more experience, so it's a little easier, but I'm really not in that category
at all. I don't consider, I consider myself a business person who cooks, rather than a
>>audience #12: Who would you wanna cook aside, though, if you could have a partner. Who would
you choose to be your partner?
>>Ina: Well, I love Bobby Flay. I love the way he, I love his energy and I love what
he does. So, I'd choose him and then I'd just watch him.
I'd be around going, "What should I do now?"
>>Marissa: So, this has been really, really delightful. I know we have lots of people
who want autographs and photos and want a chance to chat with you.
>>Ina: I'd love to.
>>Marissa: Ina's gonna be here for probably about the next half an hour and then she's
gonna get to experience a Google lunch.
>>Ina: Yay!!
>>Marissa: So, you can see how our chefs cook. And this was really wonderful.
>>Ina: Thank you so much for inviting me. Thank you, Marissa. Thank you.