We may know what Barefoot Contessa host Ina Garten cooks in her pristine East Hampton kitchen — recipes straight from her new cookbook Modern Comfort Food, of course — but how she cooks? Not so much — that is, until her interview with TODAY‘s Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager this week. And let us tell you, her kitchen organizing tips are genius. But did we really expect anything less?
Garten starts the interview by explaining how she designed her kitchen, which boasts a kitchen sink that’s strategically placed with a view of her lush, beloved garden.
“When I’m designing a kitchen … I think of setting the stove, the sink and refrigerator in a triangle so you can move around really well,” Garten tells Kotb and Hager via video chat. “[They appliances are] really close together, but they also have a lot of workspace in between.”
But Garten dishes the real tips the second she flips her camera to face her kitchen island. “Everything is out on the counter but in a neat way,” she tells the hosts, showing her cuttings boards and utensils just within arm’s reach.
“I’ve got all the utensils and spoons, like silver spoons for tasting or stirring, and whatever ingredients can just sit out, and knives and then a cooktop,” she said.
Seeing Garten’s kitchen island set-up was exactly what we needed amid this months-long quarantine, during which it’s been damn near impossible to keep the kitchen clean and tidy. We aren’t saying Garten’s kitchen is cluttered in any way, but to see that her island isn’t totally bare and has all the essentials laid out in a smart, strategic, efficient way has us inspired to purchase a handful of utensil holders and pull those heavily used tools out of the drawers and neatly organized on our own kitchen workspace.
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Utensil holders like this jumbo, white ceramic farmhouse-inspired holder:
Or this gorgeous, sleek white marble utensil holder:
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Garten kitchen without one key ingredient? A great soundtrack that includes none other than her dream party guest, Taylor Swift.
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The first thing I do when I start cooking is crank up the tunes – it really gets my creative juices flowing! Today I'm sharing one of my go-to cooking playlists that I call "Women Who Rock" – it's a compilation of lots of my favorite songs by female artists. I hope you love it!! The playlist is available on @applemusic and @spotify – you can find the links on barefootcontessa.com and in my profile. (photo @brigittelacombe )
“The first thing I do when I start cooking is crank up the tunes — it really gets my creative juices flowing!” Garten wrote last fall when she shared her cooking playlist, “Women Who Rock.”
Before you go, check out Garten’s best dinner recipes below: