She learned her culinary techniques on her own using New England and French cookbooks. She improved her recipes based on the feedback the received from her customers and friends. Eli Zabar, the owner of Eli’s Manhattan and Eli’s Breads, was her mentor during her early years. Martha Stewart helped Garten refine her cooking style as well. She cooks a simplified version of the beef bourguignon and is known for cooking celery root remoulade and pear clafouti. She has written cookbooks during her television appearances on Food Network programs. Most of the cookbooks became best sellers. Garten developed her love for French cuisine during a trip camping vacation in Paris which lasted 4 months. After the vacation, Garten learned most of her French cooking from Julia Child’s cookbook ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’.
She stated working in the White House after moving to Washington Dc in 1972. Garten started studying at the George Washington University and completed her MBA. She became a budget analyst at the Office of Management and Budget during that time. There she wrote the nuclear energy budget. She returned to cooking soon after her time there and arranged numerous dinner parties. For extra money, she refurbished, bought and resold homes in the Kalorama and Dupont Circle neighborhood. She used the profits earned to purchase the Bearfoot Contessa specialty food store.
After leaving her government job in 1978 she started managing the Bearfoot Contessa store besides simply owning it. The store was eventually moved to East Hampton where the store expanded from 400 square feet to 3000 square feet. The store started serving lobster Cobb salad and imported chesses. Local chefs and bakers were hired by Garten during this time which included Anna Pump. The shop was praised by Steven Spielberg and Lauren Bacall. She sold Barefoot Contessa to two of her employees but kept ownership of the building. She built offices and studied the stock market while offering her food items along with coffees online on the Barefoot Contessa website. The store permanently closed in the year 2004 and Garten never reopened it again.
In 1999 Garten turned her attention to publishing her work. She published the ‘Barefoot Contessa Cookbook’ in 1999 which included most of her unique recipes. The cookbook sold nearly 100,000 copies during its first year. After the success Garten found, she published the cookbook ‘Barefoot Contessa Parties!’ which also sold a huge number of copies and received positive reviews. Both the cookbooks produced by Garten were nomination for James Beard Awards. Her cookbooks as of 2008 have sold more than 6 million copies. She has published eight cookbooks so far and is the favorite author of chef Giada De Laurentiis.
Due to the success of her books, she was approached multiple times by Food Network. She rejected their offer to host her own cooking show until the London-based company that produced ‘Nigella Bites’ was involved in the deal. Her 13 show season premiered in 2002 titled ‘Barefoot Contessa’. The show has round about 1 million viewers per episode and produced some of Food Network’s highest ratings. The show was nominated for Daytime Emmy Awards twice, once in 2005 and once in 2009. She won the Emmy Award for Best Culinary Host. ‘Barefoot in Paris’ was her most successful publish and sold more than 400.000 copies. This placed it at number 11 on the New York Time bestseller list. Ian Garten has developed unique recipes and cooking styles that are a wonderful contribution to the world of cooking. Get your cheap Ian Garten tickets.