Jeffrey Gets Honest About Ina's One (One!) Kitchen Mistake

Jeffrey Gets Honest About Ina's One (One!) Kitchen Mistake

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Elizabeth Licata
Apr 2, 2018
(Image credit: Quentin Bacon)

Ina and Jeffrey Garten are the ultimate in couple goals. They've been married 50 years and still seem as twitterpated as teenagers. They live together in what is basically a castle and just drink wine and eat delicious food and enjoy each other's company. It's a great setup, and Jeffrey loves everything Ina cooks — except for one thing.

I would never have believed it, but even Ina is capable of cooking something that's not delicious. Delish uncovered an old interview in the Yale Daily News in which Jeffrey admits that during the week, when he's in Connecticut being a professor and Dean Emeritus of the Yale School of Management, he actually eats "like a college student."

But like a college student running home on break to load up on actually good food, on the weekends Jeffrey goes home to Ina and some of the best home cooking in the world. Once there, he's not fussy, of course. Ina's latest book was called Cooking for Jeffrey, and she says Jeffrey is very easy to cook for.

"He likes everything I make," she told the Yale Daily News.

But in the interview, Jeffrey admits that he hasn't actually like everything Ina Garten has ever cooked. In fact, he remembers one fish stew "that didn't turn out quite right."

One bad dish in half a century is a good track record. And fish stews are particularly tricky dishes to pull off; all that seafood is expensive, and if one single thing goes wrong, it can ruin the whole dish. I once botched a particularly ambitious cioppino, and the experience of having to throw away $150 worth of seafood was so bad I never tried it again.

Ina doesn't give up so easily, though. Jeffrey did not say what specific seafood stew it was that didn't turn out right, but Ina has since gone on to perfect a Provencal-style seafood stew that's now featured on the Food Network. It contains nearly four pounds of good seafood, saffron, and a bit of Pernod, and she serves it with sliced baguettes, toasted and rubbed with garlic.

After 58 reviews, it has a five-star rating, so Ina has clearly mastered the art of the fish stew. And suddenly I'm really craving the one dish Ina ever got wrong.

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