When we hear our friends and family talking about learning how to cook, most often they reminisce about days spent in the kitchen with their own parents or grandparents, learning how to expertly chop, season, and sauté ingredients from a trusted adult, usually in some sort of family heirloom cast iron skillet or Dutch oven. But not everyone has caregivers who cook, or who have the time or patience to teach a kid how to cook (which is totally fair – you try cleaning up after a 5 year old who’s “helping” mix up a batch of cookie dough). That was the case for Ina Garten, who had a mom that didn’t enjoy cooking at all. Instead, Garten taught herself to cook from a classic cookbook that you can still find today.
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When Melissa McCarthy asked Ina Garten about how she learned how to cook on their discovery+ special Cocktails & Tall Tales With Ina Garten and Melissa McCarthy, Garten revealed that she didn’t learn to cook until after she moved out of her parents’ house. “I was starving!” she joked.
It wasn’t until she moved in with her husband Jeffrey that Garten started learning how to cook in earnest, all thanks to the classic The New York Times Cookbook by famous food critic Craig Claiborne. It was published in 1961 and contains more than 1500 gourmet recipes for the home cook.
It’s a classic cookbook, on par with Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And considering that it’s the book that Ina Garten herself learned to cook from, it’s definitely one you should check out if you’re interested in enhancing your own culinary skills.
Before you go, check out Ina Garten’s easy weeknight dinner recipes below:
Watch: Ina Garten’s Go-To Kitchen Cleaning Tool Is Sold Out Everywhere Except Here