Ina Garten Reveals Why She Never Had Children in New Candid Interview

published Dec 4, 2023
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Ina Garten headshot on colorful background
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In a recent interview with BBC News, Ina Garten welcomes viewers into her cozy East Hampton home to chat with Katty Kay about how she’s become one of the most respected people in the culinary world. The massively influential home cook has spent years inspiring those interested in cultivating their culinary capabilities, and has done so with an unmatched sense of style and grace. We all have our reasons as to how Ina Garten influenced our cooking, but we now have a little more insight into what inspires Garten to continue down her iconic culinary path. 

Upon entering Garten’s impressively spacious “office” kitchen, which is completely separated from her actual home, Kay, who is enthralled by the high ceilings and ample space asks, “Is it a pleasure to cook in here still?”

“Oh it’s just wonderful,” Garten exclaims, “I actually think good architecture makes you better at whatever you’re doing.” She continues to mention how upon walking in every day she thinks, “I can’t believe I get to work here; it just makes me show up more.”

Before moving on with the interview, Kay takes notice of Garten’s massive cookbook collection, and questions if the culinary star still uses them to this day. “There’s so many great cookbooks, why not?” Garten poses her question before admitting that she still turns to her cookbooks for inspiration, as the books give her the ability to reference her favorite cooks before starting a recipe.

It’s no secret that Ina Garten is absolutely a product of the people she looks up to, which totally explains the way she views herself. Rather than considering herself as a chef, Garten emphasizes that she is a “home cook.” As Kay goes on to question just how Garten became so incredibly influential, Garten reveals exactly what about her celebrity status gives her the most joy.

“I love when I walk down the street and somebody leans in and says, ‘You taught me how to cook, thank you.’” Garten describes those moments as the precise thing that gives her life meaning that she never expected to have. 

“I wrote a cookbook while thinking about what I was going to do next after Ina’s Special Made Food Store, I just didn’t have anything to do so I thought, ‘Well, I’ll write a cookbook while I figure it out.’” Garten recalls having no idea what she would be doing beyond that, but said that sometimes “it’s like you just have to jump in the pond and splash around because you never know where it will lead to.” Unbeknownst to Garten, it would lead to a place where, just like Julia Child who taught her how to cook, Garten is now able to teach other people how to cook as well. “It’s just a great pleasure,” she concluded.

On the topic of children, Garten expressed that her and her husband Jeffrey’s decision not to have any was quite the difficult one. In response to Kay questioning whether she knew that she couldn’t do what she wanted to do if she had kids, Garten explains that it is much deeper than that. “I’m actually writing a memoir right now and it’s kind of looking back at my childhood.” Garten continues, “It was nothing I wanted to recreate.” Garten goes on to explain that she is “always looking forward to look back,” and realized that a lot of her decisions were based on her childhood and concluded that this was the ultimate reason why they decided not to have children. “Also, Jeffrey and I are just so happy together.”

There is no denying the absolute love and dedication to her craft and the life that Ina Garten has grown to enjoy. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to learn from those you look up to, and it’s nice to know that Ina Garten looks up to her idols just as we look up to her.