Make A Wish: No, A Different One!

Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten is apparently too busy to make the wish of a very sick little boy come true.

Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa

Six-year-old Enzo has been fighting acute lymphoblastic leukemia for literally half of his short life. During his darkest times the little boy would cuddle in bed with his mom, watching Barefoot Contessa to take his mind off his terrible ordeal. So it was only natural that when Enzo was approached by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, he said he wanted to cook with Ina Garten.

Sadly, Garten has turned him down -- twice.

The first time, Garten's people said she was too busy with a book tour. Enzo said he would wait until her schedule freed up. It was that important to him.

Now, a year later, Garten has responded with another no, citing more schedule conflicts -- leaving little Enzo devastated.

"Why doesn't she want to meet me?" the crushed kid asked his parents.

A rep for Garten told TMZ, "Despite her demanding schedule, [Ina] participates and helps as many organizations as she can throughout the year, helping children and adults like Enzo with life threatening and compromising illnesses. Unfortunately, as much as she would like to, it's absolutely impossible for her to grant every request she receives."

Enzo has since chosen a new wish -- to swim with dolphins. In totally unrelated news, the next episode of Barefoot Contessa will feature dolphin steaks in a delicious fresh tomato sauce.

Image courtesy Joseph Marzullo/

Tags: barefoot contessa ina garten

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Comments on "Barefoot Contessa: Too busy for dying child?"

Ed March 29, 2011 | 6:04 PM

My family and I have long enjoyed the Food Network and the Barefoot Contessa. It all ends now. We have plenty of other choices and will exercise them. As for sponsors of her, we will cease purchasing anything with which she is affiliated. Let's just say we "are too busy."

Leah March 28, 2011 | 8:58 AM

I can't believe this. She must think she's pretty special. I could walk by her on the street and not even know who she is. Time to check that ego lady!

Shaaaame March 27, 2011 | 12:46 AM

when i read about how she was too busy to spend a little bit of time with a SICK DYING CHILD, i decided that watching her shows or patronizing her sponsors was just not something i could do with a clear conscience. now when i hear her name or see her face i think of a tiny boy writhing in pain and sadness, who could have been temporarily comforted by a snippet of her time.

Miriam March 26, 2011 | 9:35 PM

It's unfortunate that she couldn't make the time for the child. When I moved to NYC from Las Vegas, I work with two boys, Joe & Joseph, at the Corbo Center that had similar conditions. She could at least make a phone call to the boy. It breaks my heart to read this.

AG March 26, 2011 | 10:18 AM

The poor little boy who has idolized you and all you can do is kick him to the curb. Have you no compassion for a "child?" The too busy thing is a cop out. I realize you are busy but not all your requests come Make-a-Wish. That usually means there's nothing else to look forward too. And the dolphin steak thing is cruel. I have no longer any respect for the Contessa. You are selfish! Hope you never have to ask for something special of someone and they turn you down. By the way my 4 yr old died of this horrible disease last year. It tore me apart.

Make-A-Wish Foundation March 26, 2011 | 8:02 AM

The Make-A-Wish Foundation has a very strong working relationship with Ina Garten, a celebrity wish granter who has generously made herself available to grant a wish in the past. Ina is a good friend of the Foundation and we are grateful to her for her support of our mission. The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. From time to time, planning for wishes doesn't turn out as originally envisioned, despite people’s best intentions and efforts. In such cases, the Foundation is committed to working with the wish child and family to grant another wish. Each wish we grant requires extensive support from many people, and we respect that no individual has an unlimited capacity to grant children’s wishes on demand. We regard the planning of wishes as a private process among the parties involved. Thus we cannot respond to questions about any particular wish in progress. Individuals who are interested in learning more about the wish-granting process, or how they can help, are encouraged to visit wish.

Norma Taylor March 25, 2011 | 7:38 PM

So disappointed in Ina refusing to meet a dying child. I have no respect for her anymore!

Paula March 25, 2011 | 7:02 PM

I watch Ina every day but I no longer will watch her. My husband always asked me why I watched because he thinks she is a major snob. She should be able to find an hour or two to do something for this young boy. Shame on her!

steve March 25, 2011 | 6:24 PM

She should have felt privileged to have touched such a young life and done whatever was necessary to make it happen.Perhaps this child was not enough of the hollywood crowd to make Barefoot look good!

dj March 25, 2011 | 4:09 PM

Is she really making dolphin steaks? Ha ha. Honestly, I understand if she's too busy to accept all fan requests, but I'm sure not all requests come from Make-A-Wish. Find the time, Barefoot Contessa! Priorities.

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