Ina and Jeffrey Garten: What to know about their relationship (2024)

Ina Garten, 76, has called her husband Jeffrey Garten the "love of my life" — and he seems to feel the exact same way.

Jeffrey Garten seems just as smitten as he was when he first spotted the then-15-year-old Ina Rosenberg on the campus of Dartmouth College 60 years ago. “We’re like two vines that grew and wrapped themselves around one another," he told People in 2018.

The couple's marriage has taken them everywhere from an Army base in North Carolina to Washington, D.C., where both worked for the government during the 1970s.

Ina and Jeffrey Garten: What to know about their relationship (1)

For years now, the couple has made their home base the Hamptons, where Ina Garten has continued writing her bestselling cookbooks while her husband, the former dean of the Yale School of Management, travels a few days each week to teach classes at the school.

“When we’re not together, I’ll send her five or six texts per day,” Jeffrey Garten said during the People interview. “I love looking at her schedule. I can envision where she is and what she’s doing, and it doesn’t feel like we’re apart. If I could be with her seven days a week, 24 hours a day, that would be my ideal.”

Read on to learn about Ina and Jeffrey Garten's relationship.

1963: Ina Garten meets Jeffrey Garten when she visits her brother at college

The Food Network star, then known as Ina Rosenberg, met Jeffrey Garten when she was 15 on a visit to see her older brother at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

Jeffrey Garten, who was also a Dartmouth student, spotted the future TV personality from the library window. “Look at that girl, isn’t she beautiful?” he told his roommate at the time, according toFood Network.

Jeffrey Garten sent Ina Garten a letter with his photo —and she was impressed.

"He saw me on the street and then sent me a letter with a photograph of himself in it,” she toldPeoplein 2018. “I just remember running through the house and going, ‘Mom, Mom, you’ve got to see this picture of this guy. He’s so cute!’”

1963: The couple's first date is a 'disaster'

To hear Ina Garten tell it, her first date with her future husband, which happened months after she received Jeffrey Garten's photo, was a "disaster."

Ina Garten suggested the pair visit a bar together on their outing.

"I thought, ‘Well, he’s a Dartmouth guy so he probably wants to, like, go to a bar or something.’ I had never been to a bar and so I said, ‘Oh let’s just go this bar, Hilltop,’ like I’d been there many times,'" Ina Garten revealed during a 2022 episode of“The Drew Barrymore Show.”

But her plan hit a glitch when the doorman asked for her ID.

“We walk in, and there are two big guys at the door … I didn’t understand what they were saying and finally Jeffrey said, ‘They want your ID,’ and I said to him, ‘What’s that?’ I had no idea that I needed a fake ID to get into a bar when I was 16.”

The couple promptly turned around and left. “Why he ever wanted to see me again, I have no idea," Ina Garten told host Drew Barrymore.

“Many years later I said to him, ‘What did you think, like, why did you want to take me out again?’” she added. “He said, ‘I thought you needed taking care of.’”

1968: Ina and Jeffrey Garten tie the knot

Five years after meeting, the couple got married at Ina Garten's parents' house in Connecticut in December 1968, according to the Food Network.

Jeffrey Garten had by then enlisted as an officer in the Army, and he and his 20-year-old bride were sent to live in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

1969: The couple keep in touch via love letters during Jeffrey Garten's Army service

Not long after marrying, Jeffrey Garten was sent on a deployment to Thailand for a year. “I wrote to Ina every single day,” he toldPeoplein 2018 of his time stationed in Thailand. “During the whole year, I was only able to call her once.”

1971: The pair take a four-month road trip in Europe where Ina Garten falls in love with cooking

The adventurous young couple embarked on a no-frillsroad tripthrough Europe for four months in 1971. Traveling across the continent on a bare-bones budget helped to bring them closer together.

“If we can survive in a tent for four months, we can survive anything,” Ina Garten joked of the trip during a 2018 visit toTODAY.

While in Europe, Ina Garten fell in love with French food, which she cooked on the couple's small camping stove.

"She’d make beef bourguignon like it was nothing, then set up elaborate buffets for dinner," Jeffrey Garten recalled to the Food Network.

“It was the first formative period in her cooking,” he added. “All those little shops in Europe — the boulangeries — Ina would walk through them and just glow.”

1972: They move to Washington, D.C., where Ina Garten became 'legendary' for her dinner parties

After returning to the U.S., the couple relocated to Washington, D.C., where Jeffrey Garten accepted a job with the State Department.

Ina Garten worked for several years as a a nuclear-budget analyst at the Office of Management and Budget, according to People.

She became locally famous for the food she served at the couple's dinner parties. “People still talk about her parties,” Jeffrey Garten told the Food Network. “They were legendary.”

1978: Ina Garten opens the Barefoot Contessa specialty food store in the Hamptons

In 1978, Ina Garten decided to quit her government job to open the Barefoot Contessa specialty grocery store in the Hamptons.

On May 25, 2023, the TV host posted a throwback pic of the store on Instagram to honor the 45th anniversary of her life-changing decision.

“Forty-five years ago today, I left my job working on nuclear energy policy in Washington and bought this tiny 400-square foot store in a town I’d never been to — Westhampton Beach, New York,” shecaptioned the photo.

“At the end of the first day, we had $87 in the register (before expenses!) and Jeffrey said sadly, ‘I don’t think you’ll make it here,’” she wrote. “I think he was really hoping I’d come to my senses and move back to Washington with him. Happily, Friday of Memorial Day weekend was a whole other story.

“Life is all about taking a chance and figuring it out along the way. There have been easy days and tough days but they’ve all been fun and my, what a journey it’s been. Thank you to everyone who has come along for the ride.”

1999: Ina Garten publishes "The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook"

Ina Garten published "The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook" in 1999.

The initial 5,000 copies of the book — plus an extra 15,000 copies that the publisher ordered because of strong early press — sold out immediately.

The book's success didn't surprise Jeffrey Garten one bit.

“She has natural talent, but it’s backed by so much effort and so much focus,”he told the Food Network. “When she had the store, she’d work until midnight all the time. The discipline of her recipe testing and how seriously she takes it — she doesn’t settle for anything but the best. She’s like a runner who collapses at the finish line even though she was ahead the whole race.”

2002: "The Barefoot Contessa" debuts on the Food Network

The success of "The Barefoot Contessa" cookbook paved the way for Ina Garten to star in her own cooking show, also called "The Barefoot Contessa," which debuted in 2002 on the Food Network.

2016: Ina Garten publishes her 'Cooking for Jeffrey' cookbook

The celebrity chef honored her husband in 2016 when she published “Cooking for Jeffrey," an entire cookbook full of his favorite recipes as well as heartfelt anecdotes from the couple's life together.

December 2016: Ina Garten shares cute wedding throwback on 48th anniversary

In December 2016, Ina Garten honored her and Jeffrey Garten's 48th wedding anniversary with a cute throwback pic on Instagram that showed them dancing on their wedding day. "48 years ago today and still dancing. #loveofmylife," she captioned the shot.

2017: Ina Garten reveals that she and Jeffrey Garten made a 'choice' not to have kids

During an April 2017 interview onKatie Couric’s self-titled podcast, Ina Garten opened up about her and her husband's choice to remain child-free.

“We decided not to have children,” she said. “I really appreciate that other people do, and we will always have friends that have children that we are close to, but it was a choice I made very early.”

She added that she was confident that the couple's choice was the right one for them. “I really felt, I feel, that I would have never been able to have the life I’ve had (with children),” she explained.

2018: Ina Garten shares the secret to the couple's (then) 50-year marriage

In honor of the couple's 50th wedding anniversary in December 2018, Ina Garten shared the secret behind the couple's long and happy union.

“It’s just the luck of the draw,” she revealed in the Orange Room before appearing on TODAY. “I think you marry someone who thinks you’re just the most important thing in the world, and you think he’s the most important thing in the world. It’s that simple, isn’t it? People make it so complicated.”

“Chickenalways helps,” she added, likely referring to her famous "engagement chicken" recipe which has reportedly helped usher many a romance along,

December 2022: Ina Garten calls Jeffrey Garten the 'secret ingredient' to life

During a December 2022 visit to TODAY, Ina Garten said her husband was the "secret ingredient" to her life.

When a fan visiting the show noted that Jeffrey Garten seemed to relish everything Ina Garten cooked for him, the TV personality agreed. "One time I made him a cup of tea and he was (saying), 'Oh, this is the best tea!' And I was like, 'It's hot water and a tea bag,'" she revealed, laughing.

Feb. 14, 2023: Ina Garten sends Jeffrey Garten a sweet Valentine's Day message

On Feb. 14, 2023, Ina Garten shared a sweet pic on Instagram that showed her and Jeffrey Garten embracing in honor of Valentine's Day.

"Happy Valentine’s Day to my one and only Valentine. Love you so much!!" she wrote in her caption.

October 2023: Ina Garten celebrates her 'darling' husband's birthday

The celebrity chef celebrated her husband's birthday in October by sharing a gallery of photos on Instagram that captured highlights from their life together.

"Even with the dreadful things going on in the world, we need to celebrate the everyday joys. Happy birthday to my darling husband Jeffrey. I’ve loved you madly for almost 60 years and I’m just getting started," she wrote.

December 2023: Ina and Jeffrey Garten played “The Not the Newlyweds Game” on Instagram

The “Barefoot Contessa” star and her husband celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary by playing what they dubbed “The Not the Newlyweds Game” in an Instagram video on Dec. 22.

“When Jeffrey and I were first married I asked him, what do you want for your life?” Ina Garten wrote in the caption. “He replied, I want to be a good husband. I’d say you nailed that! Happy anniversary, Jeffrey.”

The two took turns guessing facts about each other and writing them down on a dry erase board, from what they ordered on their first date to their favorite meal.

They both remembered they ordered coffee on that fateful first date in the 1960s.

“I wasn’t old enough to have a drink,” Ina Garten said.

“We tried, but you didn’t have an ID,” Jeffrey Garten said before smiling.

“I tried to get into a bar, but I couldn’t,” Ina Garten said.

Jeffrey Garten had a general inkling of the last book Ina read, but couldn’t quite get it.

He then revealed his least favorite food. It’s hard to imagine Ina Garten ever making a bad meal, but a serving of fish stew stuck with him all these years.

“That was the only failure you ever had,” Jeffrey Garten said.

“That’s right, I made a really bad fish stew once,” Ina Garten said.

They both agreed that Jeffrey noticed her first, while he feels they’re equally as organized, even though Ina would give that one to Jeffrey. They also nailed their respective philosophies in life, and then they shared their perfect date together.

Jeffrey Garten’s ideal date is Ina cooking for him, while hers is dinner in Paris.

“They’re pretty similar,” she said. “How about we do them both together? I cook dinner for you in Paris.”

“Perfect,” Jeffrey Garten said.

They also both correctly guessed their respective secrets to a long marriage, which really boiled down to a simple fact: love each other.

Ina Garten then ended by giving Jeffrey a sweet kiss on the cheek before wishing him a happy anniversary.

Viewers of “The Barefoot Contessa” have grown used to seeing Jeffrey pop into his wife’s kitchen at the end of many episodes so the couple can share an exquisite meal together.

April 2024: Ina Garten said her husband used to write her love letters every day

During an April 11 appearance on TODAY, Ina Garten shared that Jeffrey Garten used to write her letters every day while he was in college and the military.

“And I put them all in a box. And I had that as a record. It was really quite extraordinary," she said.

She also said that ahead of her memoir, “Be Ready When the Luck Happens,” coming out on Oct. 1, her husband got to read the book's "last form before it went to the publisher."

“And he sat down at 1:30 in the afternoon, thinking, ‘I’ll read for a few hours.’ He didn’t get up until he finished it at 7:30 that night. So lovely," she said, teasing that she brought him snacks so he "didn’t starve to death."

Ina Garten then recalled how her husband's letters actually helped her write her memoir.

"Well, there were things that I thought never happened, but they were in the letters,” she said. “And it made us realize that, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s right. That did happen.’”

Gina Vivinetto

Gina Vivinetto is a writer forTODAY.com.

Ina and Jeffrey Garten: What to know about their relationship (2024)

FAQs

Ina and Jeffrey Garten: What to know about their relationship? ›

Ina Garten was 15 years old when she met her now-husband, Jeffrey Garten. After dating for five years, the pair tied the knot in 1968 in her parents' backyard in Connecticut when she was 20 and he was 22. The couple made the decision early on not to have children.

Do Ina Garten and Jeffrey live together? ›

For years now, the couple has made their home base the Hamptons, where Ina Garten has continued writing her bestselling cookbooks while her husband, the former dean of the Yale School of Management, travels a few days each week to teach classes at the school.

Why do people love Ina Garten? ›

Garten, a TV host and prolific cookbook author, has a brand that melds aspirational and accessible, contributing to a diverse fan base: rich women in fur coats who appreciate her show, truck drivers who profess a love of her books as they drive by and, more recently, the 1.6 million people who follow her on Instagram.

How much is Ina Garten's husband worth? ›

Ina husband, Jeffrey, is also a financial powerhouse. According to Celebritynetworth.com, Jeffrey is worth $100 million, mostly thanks to his former jobs as managing director of Lehman Brothers and Blackstone Group.

How rich is Ina Garten? ›

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Ina Garten's net worth in 2024 is estimated at $60 million. When combined with that of her husband Jeffrey, that amount is estimated at a whopping $120 million.

Why did Ina Garten have no children? ›

In a new interview for Julia Louis-Dreyfus' podcast, Wiser Than Me, Garten admitted that it "wasn't a struggle at all" to decide against having children. "I had no interest in having children," she told Louis-Dreyfus. "I had a terrible childhood, and it was nothing I wanted to recreate.

Did Ina Garten sell Barefoot Contessa? ›

Garten ran the Barefoot Contessa store for 18 years — eventually moving it from Westhampton Beach to a bigger location in East Hampton — before she sold it to two of her employees in 1996. Three years later, Garten published her first cookbook with recipes from her store. Then, Food Network came calling.

Is Ina Garten a conservative or liberal? ›

Registered in New York as a Democrat, Garten has contributed to the presidential campaign funds of George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, and Barack Obama.

What faith is Ina Garten? ›

Ina Garten is a Jewish American author and host of the Food Network program Barefoot Contessa.

What does Ina Garten's husband teach? ›

He is the Dean Emeritus at the Yale School of Management

Jeffrey Garten. Currently, Jeffrey serves as the Dean Emeritus at the Yale School of Management and teaches courses on the global economy.

Who makes more money, Ina or Jeffrey? ›

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Ina Garten's net worth in 2023 is estimated at $60 million. When combined with that of her husband Jeffrey, that amount is estimated at a whopping $120 million.

Does Ina Garten own a home in Paris? ›

Ina Garten and her husband Jeffrey Garten are celebrating New Year's Eve in style! The Food Network star, 75, and her husband Jeffrey Garten rang in 2024 while in Paris, where they own an apartment.

Does Ina Garten have a degree? ›

About Ina Garten

She grew up in Stamford, Connecticut, and studied fashion design at Syracuse University in 1966. She married Jeffrey Garten in 1968 and the couple moved to North Carolina after Jeffrey Garten enlisted in the Army. She later earned her degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

What is Giadas' net worth? ›

Giada De Laurentiis' net worth in 2023 is estimated at a cool $30 million.

What did Jeffrey Garten do for a living? ›

Jeffrey Garten
OccupationsEconomist academic investor author
SpouseIna Rosenberg ​ ( m. 1968)​
Academic background
EducationDartmouth College (BA) Johns Hopkins University (MA, PhD)
21 more rows

Where do Ina and Jeffrey Garten live? ›

Ina and her husband, Jeffrey, have a stunning house in East Hampton, N.Y.

Where is Ina Garten living? ›

He can also frequently be seen on her cooking show, assisting his wife with simple tasks or sampling the dishes she has created. They divide their time living in Manhattan, East Hampton, and Paris. Garten served as hostess of the 16th Annual Hudson Peconic benefit for Planned Parenthood.

Where does Ina Garten stay? ›

The primary home where she lives (and films her television show) is located in the town of East Hampton, New York, which the Travel Channel describes as having a charming, small-town feel.

Does Ina Garten have an apartment in NYC? ›

It's a good thing Garten seriously upgraded her New York digs last year—you know, for when she's not at her East Hampton pad. Indeed, the Gartens bought a $4.65 million two-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment at 563 Park Avenue last summer.

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