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I'm giving up on Barefoot Contessa!

Is it just me or do all of her "new" show just seem to be regurgitating the same recipes, but showing off her new barn and garden? I've had it. We've watched endless reruns and anticipated some good shows, but what we're getting is Barefoot recycled!

She's officially off my TIVO!!

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  1. I'm trying, I really am, but I don't enjoy her new show much either. I'm getting more of the Hamptons conceit that irritates other people, and less of the food/cooking/recipes than ever. And yes, some of the recipes seem similar to others, or somehow less approachable or appealing than normal.

    And to top it off, FN seems to be limiting the reruns they air..... I know there are entire seasons of her show that I've never seen, but in a couple weeks' time I have the same episodes on the DVR three times..... blah!

    1 Reply
    1. re: kshrimp

      I don't know if they update these episodes of Ina's show, but Comcast has a new feature Fancast. You can watch some of Ina's shows, and avoid the dreaded ones. Has anyone ever seen "Kids in a Candy Store" episode? Ewww.

      I used to love Ina's show as well, but this Back to Basics is not for me either. I want new things to try, not basic recipes tried again.

      Anyway, here's the link:


    2. I only have seen her show once, but the one time was enough for me. Flying in a helicopter over her property, the "lucky guests" squeeling over "there's her house- there's her house". Yuck.

      1. Her cooking is fine, but there's something about her personality that I find off-putting. She reminds me of a desperate single woman who has a forced "aren't we having fun?" air about her. I'd rather read one of her books than watch her on TV.

        1. I have always been a big fan of Ina. Sadly I too have found the new show hard to watch. The few times I've seen it I've felt a large dose of deja vu, i.e.; boredom, but I believe the concept of the new show is her re-vamping her old recipes.

          She was a specialty food store owner and caterer, she is not a chef. It's obvious her repertoire is limited. Blame some of it on FN. They're going to push her in whatever reincarnation they can as long as she's making them money, and it seems like she has sold out.

          Actually, I watched an episode a few weeks ago and I thought that she seemed bored with what she was doing. Perhaps she's had her fill of it too, but has contractual obligations.

          I too have thought of removing her from my TIVO, but haven't been able to bring myself to do it just yet.

          1. I don't know what time she is on--catch her randomly here and there. But I noticed that her new show is called "Back to Basics," so maybe that accounts for some of the less-than-exciting recipes?

            I say, give more air time to Jeffrey and that hunky neighbor of hers (forgot his name, but he seems to be on more often now)!

            1 Reply
            1. re: gloriousfood

              you're thinking of TR and i agree completely.

              i'm also disappointed with the new show, which definitely has a lot more "use 1 lb lobster" for this and "three kinds of wild mushrooms" for that. her recipes are increasingly impossibly expensive, or rehashing of previous dishes. and enough with the hamptons, where the jewelry worn by the guests is worth more than my outstanding student loans.

              maybe what we all really want is a netflix of seasons 1-3 or so.

            2. I love Ina and I'll be honest - I've felt the new episodes are a bit off. I think she's tiring of the show but FN wanted to keep her - and the agreement was less work. for her. There are parts of the new show where it cuts away to just video. all at close up range, showing something (last week, making pie crust) with Ina narrating. Every episode has a comparable piece of video. She's just recording the audio, but others are doing the work. I've also noted the supporting characters are also playing bigger roles, with her role somewhat diminished. Isn't this show based on a new "basics" type cookbook? I think that guiding the direction.

              1. I got the new cookbook for Chirstmas and it is rather....well, not great. It's enjoyable and her writing is good, but, it I am upset that shes' redone some old recipes from the shop or from her other cookbooks. I was hoping for new recipes. And, some were so basic - roasted veggies - AGAIN.
                For the show, well, I don't know. I will still watch b/c I am working my way through the cookbook and like to see the recipes "live" but it is kinda so so.

                4 Replies
                1. re: stellamystar

                  You hit the nail on the head! If I see one more recipe from her for roasted vegetables, I'm going to lose it. She's roasted every single vegetable known to man on a sheet pan with olive oil. Enough already.

                  1. re: FoodChic

                    "How easy is that?"

                    I'm also getting bored with the new show.....and her catch phrases.

                    Leftovers for a soup? Why didn't *I* think of that?

                    1. re: Dee S

                      I noted something similar a while back on this board, and other Ina fans seemed nonplussed.

                      I feel a particular let down after waiting a week to see a "new" episode, only to watch her make something (when I complained, it was a lobster gratin one week, a scallop gratin the next... and to bring things current, a lobster pot pie last week!) that I've seen a few times over. I still find her very pleasant to watch, but I think she's run her course if inventiveness is an important criteria for assessment.

                      1. re: Dee S

                        I think you hit the nail on the head, for me anyway. How easy is it to be natural and expressive? Apparently, not very. Also, "clear the decks." There was one episode where I think she used the phrase six or seven times. Enough!

                        The personality in her shows that I used to enjoy - sort of wealthy, eccentric, cool aunt - has turned into the tiresome neighbor or colleague you don't really enjoy anymore.

                        Oddly, the lack of creativity hasn't been tops on my list of complaints, though having it pointed out to me will probably change that. I guess I watch her as much for the entertaining ideas and lifestyle as I do for recipes.... just me, though.

                  2. I guess it goes to show you that if you like someone's style, you can tolerate repetitiveness. I think she is the classiest food personality on TV. And I don't mind watching her recycle her recipes, because she's a PRO at what she does. I'll never get tired of watching her cook in her kitchen, or her romps in the market, or even, Jeffrey coming home with that dopey look on his face. I don't know...something just works for me with this show.

                    Now, waht I AM ANGRY about is the fact that they've changed the THEME SONG and slowed it down. THAT'S a travesty to me. It was one of the best, catchy intros around.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Raquel

                      I agree. I like Ina's personality and I absolutely adore Jeffrey. TJ is pretty cute too.

                      1. re: whatsfordinner

                        Ina's wonderful for what she does. The new edition of the series seems geared more than usual to promoting another iteration in her book series, and I don't think it's up to snuff (but then again, I disagree strongly with the FN's general trend towards entertainment value over food technique).

                        Also, I find it interesting that they seem to set TR up as some sort of clueless bachelor type, when he's not exactly:


                      2. re: Raquel

                        Raquel, I totally agree with you on your point about liking someone enough to tolerate the repetitiveness, but the thing that I have the problem with is that the same shows have been running over and over (with a couple of exceptions) since at least late 2007.
                        So the "new season" arrives, and to borrow phrase from my father...it's the same ole slop.

                        So what this tells me is that Ina has jumped the shark...and I hate it. I want the old Ina back with her fun style, recipies and just a hint of smugness.

                        1. re: FoodChic

                          In a land of Sandra Lee's and Paulas Parties.. I'd hardly call any of Ina's shows slop!

                          1. re: rozz01

                            It's a figure of speach. You know, tongue-in-cheek.

                      3. For the record--she is in the process of filming new shows. I actually wrote her a letter saying how much I just love her cookbooks and shows ...and whaddya know? Her assistant answered me for her and stated that although Ina could not personally answer me due to filming new shows, she was very pleased with my letter and so on.....very nice letter and just makes me like her even more for having someone get back to me. I swear if we were in a food sorority, she would be my rush crush! That said, maybe some shows ARE repetitive, but I love her and Jeffrey--they are so loving and cute!

                        1. the thing with ina is that she is fabulous for new cooks WITHOUT being rachael or sandra. she teaches basic and easy without it being fake. and that is really great. i know that after you've done it, you want something else and would iike her to go elsewhere as your skills do but that doesn't mean there isn't a place for her show. there will always be new college kids or just people with a new interest in cooking and it's nice that not every basic cooking show cuts corners.
                          don't get me wrong - i miss her old show too and LOVE her cookbooks but i don't think that means that this one is awful.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: AMFM

                            Not sure I agree with you about Barefoot Contessa being fabulous for only "new" cooks.

                            I am quite an accomplished cook, and still find comfort and inspiration from her.

                            And, to take it a notch further, I'd assert that the true test of a great cook is simplicity. And Ina does definitely master that. It's the young ones that always want to make junk on a plate to show that they've been to culinary school...that make me shake my head.

                            In my opinion, I don't know how you can improve on a beautifully roasted chicken. But we all still make it, don't we? And I'd also assert that most of us on here are pretty great cooks. Now, I guess the argument could be made, that watching someone roast a chicken might not be the most exciting television to watch - and maybe I'm in a camp of one - but it's precisely because of the simplicity that I could watch it over and over....

                            1. re: Raquel

                              Speaking of Roasted Chicken - Ina's Chicken Gravy is absolutely The Best. And very easy. Everyone is always impressed when I make it (even though I cut the butter in 1/2!).

                              1. re: Raquel

                                i didn't say "only". i like ina. her cookbooks are my favorites. i was implying that even if some chowhounds weren't getting much from this perhaps they could see the value in her show for others.

                                1. re: AMFM

                                  Ok...............But you did say "new" cooks, which to me implied "only".

                                  Because otherwise, you would have said "new" cooks and "experienced" cooks alike. You left out the experienced cooks part and that's why I responded, being a more experienced cook - and still finding things to enjoy in her show.

                                  But, no harm, no foul. We agree that she's great!

                                2. re: Raquel

                                  I enjoy her show. I like the back to basics concept.Something about the whole clean simple approach appeals to me.And TR yum!

                                3. re: AMFM

                                  Without making any claim whatsoever about quality or about whether anyone should like any of it: what Rachel Ray and Sandra Lee do are really not even remotely comparable (especially not in the last many years of Ray's shows) and I also think it's not accurate to describe what Ray does as "fake." Certainly one might take issue with notion that just anyone can put together the dishes as quickly as is done on the show without the intense planning that goes into doing the show; but, then, most food show hosts trumpet the "no sweat," "takes no time at all," "couldn't be easier," "see how easy that was?" nature of their dishes these days.

                                  I think Ina Garten has a nice sensibility about food (mostly simple, slightly dressed up, hinting at elegant without working really hard for it most of the time) but I don't think that translates to a wide variety of kinds of dishes or recipes. I think that's why some find her shows start to feel repetitive.

                                  1. re: ccbweb

                                    totally fair. it sounds as if i'm comparing the two and they aren't the same. i hate sandra because of her using prepackaged foods thing (well and she just annoys me) because i just don't think it's healthy.
                                    some of rachael's 30 minute meals are/look good. she isn't my favorite but she cooks a lot of food for a new home cook who doesn't have a lot of time. i think a lot of people don't love her (obviously even more do) so i was just implying that ina was kind of an anti them that still made recipes simple enough for beginning chefs. sorry!

                                4. I am sad to say, I've been bored with her show this year.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: melly

                                    I agree and I think it's because she's mostly replicating the recipes in her books on the show. This has always been the case, but I seem to notice it more now. I love the books-- when I entertain, they're the first ones I turn to- things "hold up" well over a period of time, are easy to make ahead of time, the recipes work (even if I reduce the fat content-- I'd hate to taste what some of the finished products are like with more), and they win me compliments and admiration that certainly doesn't belong to me :). Perhaps if I didn't own the books the show would be more interesting.

                                    1. re: jules1026

                                      This seems to be the first series of shows tied into a cookbook, rather than created separately. Bobby Flay did the same thing with his most recent series (not the Throwdowns.) Both shows didn't seem as natural or as interesting. I have still learned quite a bit from these Ina shows -- I made her roasted vegetable soup the other night, and it was great, and the chocolate brownie pudding looks amazing.

                                      Who knows, maybe the Barefoot concept has just run its course. Nigella Lawson has gone through three or four already, and so has Bobby Flay. Perhaps time to change it up? I'd love to see Ina team up with another chef, as Julia Child use to do.

                                  2. I think the whole country is giving up on the Barefoot Contessa lifestyle--conspicuous consumption and carefree enjoyment of wealth. What the food channels need now is someone who can show us how to cook up some roadkill and find tasty weeds and berries in the woods. I've actually got a great Depression cookbooks which has some squirrel recipes....

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: newhavener07

                                      I think that's a good idea. I often wonder how these people get these cooking shows.The average person doesn't eat lobster or some of the other things they show on tv.Any of us could host a cooking show. If I say for example did, it would be as you say,just home cooking, like mom and grandma made.
                                      I also have some old cookbooks from the 20s and 30s.In fact, I have a book called Entertaining at Home, by Modern Priscilla, which was a magazine years ago.It has suggestions for entertaining, recipes, etc.Pretty interesting to see how grandma entertained back in the 1920s. Many of the ideas are quite interesting and the recipes and menus sound good.That is something too that could be brought up on such a show.