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Ina Garten Prefers Buffet-Style Dining Over Sit-Down Dinners & the Reason Is So Relatable

Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook author and all-around cooking icon just made us like her even more, and no, it’s not because of her crazy good dinner recipes (although that’s a huge reason, too). Garten got honest on the Cooking Up a Storm with Al Roker podcast — she was actually his first guest on her episode that premiered November 1 — and put an end to a common debate we all face while choosing how to serve our home-cooked Thanksgiving meals.

Once she was finished whipping up her unique smashed potatoes recipe for Roker, who was a skeptic-turned-believer after trying Garten’s dish, they got to discussing the hard questions. “Buffet-style or sit-down, pass around the dish?” Roker asked.

Garten was quick to explain her go-to serving style for Thanksgiving dinner, and it makes perfect sense. “I like buffet style, because I think then everybody gets up and gets what they like, and they can pass up what they don’t like, and then they can come back, and then they can go have seconds, and it’s no big deal,” Garten said.

The Barefoot Contessa isn’t a fan of the way a sit-down dinner ruins the aesthetic of a perfectly nice table, either. “I always feel like, if all the bowls were on the table, it’s like they’re half-empty bowls of who knows what,” she laughed. “And it doesn’t look good.”

The cooking expert also explained her own practical buffet set-up while hosting Thanksgiving dinner at her place. “I’ve just never done that [sit-down dinner],” Garten explained. “I’ve always done buffet-style, and usually in the room. You know, so, in the kitchen, so I’ll do it on the kitchen counter. And sometimes things can sit on the stove, just bubbling away.”

Sounds good to us. Buffet-style it is!

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