This past weekend I attended Cherry Bombe's second annual Jubilee in New York City – a conference dedicated to women and food. I was blown away by the incredible speakers, including the alpha and omega that is Ina Garten. Here are a few brilliant things I learned from her talk with Julia Turshen.
This year's lineup of women speakers and panelists for the Jubilee was, simply stated, just awesome. There was wonderful bloggers and authors like Caroline Randall Williams and Michelle Tam, and restauranteurs like Elise Kornack and April Bloomfield, and TV personalities like Padma Lakshmi and Ina Garten.
I especially loved the conversation between Ina Garten and Julia Turshen. Garten arrived a couple minutes before her talk with Jeffrey in tow. She is everything you'd expect her to be in person. And although she might have talked at length about fear and doing the the things that scare you, you would never imagine her as being afraid of anything. She's just so fierce.
Here are a few of the smart things I took away from her talk at Cherry Bombe's Jubilee.
5 Brilliant Quotes from Ina Garten
1. "If it's not scary, everyone else would do it."
Before Ina Garten decided to write cookbooks, she took some time off to figure out what she wanted to do next. She believes that it is essential to get bored before you figure out what excites you. During her conversation with Turshen she kept referring to fear as a "pond" and that we have to jump into this pond even though we're scared. Working through fear is a good thing – you want that nervous energy in your work.
2. "I get up every day, do the best that I can do, and go home and have a good time."
The key to Ina Garten's success is part luck, and part working really hard. When asked how she manages to keep on top of everything, she responded with this quote which I found uplifting. Work really hard, enjoy yourself. It's really not so complicated.
3. "You can teach people about cheese, but you can't teach them to be happy."
Ina Garten's criteria for hiring someone is to make sure the person is motivated and that they're happy. You can teach someone a new aspect of their job, but you can't teach them how to have a brighter outlook on life. You want to work with happy people.
4. " Someone asked me to endorse a line of fertilizer and I thought, 'Oh, you want me to endorse your shit?!'"
As you might imagine, Ina Garten gets offered a lot of opportunities to endorse or work with other companies. She recalled towards the beginning of her career being approached by a fertilizer company. Needless to say, she didn't take the gig.
5. "Fun is the most important. If you do stuff for money, it never works out."
It might be easy to say this when you've already made a career out of something that you actually enjoy, but Ina Garten has a point. Letting yourself have fun with whatever you do should be a priority.