Ina Garten Revealed Her Favorite Book, & It Might Surprise You

Sep 14, 2017 at 2:56 p.m. ET
Image: Vince Talotta/Toronto Star Via Getty Images

If you don't look at Ina Garten and see a fierce businessperson, you're being fooled. Sure, she has a cheery disposition, throws the coziest dinner parties and day-drinking brunches in her Hampton's home and loves talking about her beloved husband Jeffrey, but she's built an incredible empire over the past 40 or so years.

That's why it's no surprise that on a recent episode of Michael Ian Black's How to Be Amazing podcast, she revealed that her favorite book of all time is Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.

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She told Black, "In my own little world, I'm a little in [Steve Job's] direction. I admire that kind of passion and insistence on quality"

And those are two qualities Garten definitely possesses herself. In the '70s, she had a successful job as a budget analyst at the White House before giving it all up to work in the food industry. She started off with a gourmet store in the Hampton's (which she bought with money earned from flipping houses in Washington, D.C.), then slowly built her empire, including her seminal show The Barefoot Contessa, several TV specials and 10 published cookbooks. She also has an MBA and a pilot's license in case you weren't already convinced she's a total BAMF.

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So that's why her admiration of Jobs, rather than some other culinary culture hero, makes so much sense. She (rightly) sees herself as a successful businessperson and entrepreneur who has chosen food and entertaining as her market rather than as a chef who happened to find success. She has focused on producing high quality in everything she does, and honestly, I think because of that a lot of us love and admire her as much as Jobs' fans do him.

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You can listen to the inspiring episode of How to Be Amazing here. I know I could benefit from learning how to be even just a little bit more like Ina!