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Ina Garten refuses child his Make-A-Wish wish - twice


Have you guys heard about this? I think it's awful..that poor kid. Many people are saying that they will boycott her show.


Michael Symon and Beau MacMillan have called Ina out and are both willing to make this kids wish come true.


  1. I'm glad the other chefs had the heart to step in. This kid most likely does not have the luxury to wait. I won't boycott her show, but when I make her delicious onion dip or pass on the recipe to a friend which is often, I'll tell everyone what she did not do, and how others were generous enough to step up to the plate

    18 Replies
    1. re: michele cindy

      excuse me, but chef m. symon and chef b. macmillan are *actual,* working chefs. ina garten is a food personality and cookbook author, not a chef. it may seem like a small detail but ime the people who have worked their way up from nothing tend to want to give back to others and help out those in need.

      real chefs, even celebrity ones, continue to do hard, sweaty, long-hour physical work, and to work closely with other cooks, farmers, food artisans, delivery dudes and folks from all walks of life (albiet trending to the lower social classes), and to see them as equals. otoh folks who come from a hobbyist/dilettante/get rich-richer-richest position tend to be very important people with too many other things to do, and they figure their handlers can fix everything so they wind up looking good anyway, no matter what the actual situation. ina's pr person is probably just telling it like it really is-- she's a mass communicator with no time for just one kid, dying or otherwise, and she can't interrupt her book tour or appearance schedule for this kind of crap! ;-P

      1. re: soupkitten

        whoa!!!! seems you have extrapolated a whole lot from this that isn't present. So do you know Ms. Garten? Is she a dilettante? She is not a chef, and I never heard her say she was, but she built a store and catering business up successfully, and I would imagine worked very hard to do so. You seem to have made up a bunch of stuff because you're really angry about celebrity cooking personalities???How on earth do you know Symon and the other person works harder than Ms. Garten? How do you know she is such a terrible human being? I ususally really enjoy your comments, but this seems like lots of projection and hostility with little basis in reality. I go back to my previous comment- TMZ is a muckraking organization and not a reputable news outlet.

        1. re: karenfinan

          i wasn't aware that her affluent background was any great secret. her house is the setting for her show, for goodness' sake, and she has literally published volumes about her own lifestyle, and the parties she likes to throw for her friends. if you read her wiki bio, it says right there that she got her start "dabbling" in entertainment and reading julia child books, and that she turned to cooking and entertaining because her stressful job was too much for her. she bought her barefoot contessa boutique (catering to the very affluent) w proceeds she got from flipping houses sold to the extremely affluent in her home area. this is pretty much the definition of a dilettante, and it's a very different career path than someone who starts in restaurants peeling potatoes and mopping walk-ins and cooking the same plate of food over and over, eventually putting in enough time to finally master techniques and methods and developing her/his own style. of course it's arguable, but there is a slim chance that working a broiler line every weekend night and new year's for a year is much more hard physical work (and stressful) than selling a couple of mansions in the hamptons, and it's certainly less profitable. symon and macmillan started humbly as no-name cooks and eventually through hard work made a name for themselves. garten started out with big bucks, a hobby, and presumably big plans to achieve and support the lifestyle she currently has. where am i wrong in simply pointing that out?

          i never said she was an "horrible" person. someone was lumping garten, symon, and macmillan together as "chefs," presumably because all have appeared on t.v., as if the three of them have quite a bit in common. i wanted to point out the background and career path differences between garten and the *actual* chefs--symon and macmillan. i noted that garten was in fact a very successful businessperson, personality and author. unfortunately, she may be an "horrible" person for all any of us know-- one can after all be fabulously successful, and a complete jerk, simultaneously and i'm not naive enough to think there aren't ebeneezer scrooge-types in the world.

          ina doesn't have time for the kid, and has stated this twice. other folks with different backgrounds and working experiences have stated that they *do* have time. i realize that many folks idolize and identify with i. garten for many reasons, heck she has some very good recipes i am sure. if i hit a little close to home, i apologize, but i think that comparing garten's silver spoon background to symon's background in working-class cleveland cooking at rib joints as a teenager and going on to study (on purpose) at the cia before working for years in obscurity in restaurants, then finally opening up his own spots. . . jeez, i'm sorry, but it's all there. again, he's a real chef running restaurants in his hometown, and i guarantee he never got into the game as a teenager because he thought he'd be rich and famous someday. ina is busy making way more money this year than he or chef macmillan (who is noted for his tireless charity work) will ever see in a lifetime. is it any great shock that she doesn't seem to have time for one child? again, without making judgments about garten's personal moral character, i'd answer no, it isn't really a surprise.

          1. re: soupkitten

            She grew up in Stamford CT, not Greenwich or East Hampton, and attended Syracuse University in the 60's. She was not married at The Plaza but at her parent's house. She went on to work in the White House on Energy Policy and then bought the store in East Hampton. And built an incredible business (although not from the one time I visited and left).

            I am a big Symon fan but think no more or no less of him because he grew up on either side of the tracks. Working in an office can be just as demanding as working on the line. I do not criticize those that do the latter and I expect people to do likewise with my line of work.

            1. re: soupkitten

              I have no opinion of Ina other than I have tried some of her recipes and they work well. However, I don't understand what wealth, or lack of wealth,and how hard line cooks work (and I know they work damn hard) has to do with the issue at hand. I don't have a dog in this fight at all, but I do have firsthand experience with half truths and out right falsehoods being published to great negative fall out. I have no idea if that is the case here, but for myself, I would want more than a TMZ item to go on. I also don't think that being a celebrity means you owe every person who asks something of you that you have to fulfill that request.

              1. re: karenfinan

                and I still love reading your posts, sk, you have great wealth :-) of info to share and I appreciate all I've learned from you.

                1. re: karenfinan

                  let's call a truce then! :)

                  my original post was (meant to be) more about how well i regard symon and macmillan for working so hard for their respective successes, and still being so willing to give back-- than how/if i regard garten badly because of this particular media dust-up. i had heard about this w/o seeing the tmz show or link. i always like to see folks from the restaurant industry portrayed in a positive light, heh-- you know, as opposed to drinking too much and snorting coke and generally "bourdaining" around town (sorry can't resist, i know tony bourdain also has a big CH fanclub). i do not regard garten etc. as being "one of us"-- she and the others are primarily media/money people imo. i admit that i do sometimes loathe comparisons between people who have very different backgrounds, jobs and qualifications as "celebrity chefs" but when you get right down to it the media hoopla helps the restaurant industry more than it hurts it.

                  at any rate you are correct that nobody seems to have the entire story, and i certainly don't know ina garten personally. i do think it's great of symon and macmillan to step up to try to make this child's world a little brighter, and as far as i am concerned it can reflect well on them w/o reflecting badly on ina garten.

                  1. re: soupkitten

                    all your points make a great deal of sense to me...I appreciate you taking the time to clarify.

            2. re: karenfinan

              She actually bought what was already a successful store in Easthampton.

              1. re: mcf

                Thn she hired the nastiest staff known to mankind. And yup it went under.

                1. re: jfood

                  jfood- what year did you visit the store?

                  1. re: souvenir

                    The last year it was opened so probably 5-6 years ago is my guess? When we returned the following year it was closed.

                    I remember the girls working there wanted nothing to do with customers, every question was answered with "No" and we were almost intruding on the personal time while they worked.

                    The entire experience left a bad taste in our mouths.

                    1. re: jfood

                      She sold the store to two of her employees in 1996. It closed in 2004. Not sure she can be blamed for bad service the last few years. Well, I guess she can but perhaps not justifiably so.

                      1. re: Leepa

                        That is good data. It was the store and the employees using the Barefoot Contessa name.If this is true then she probably deserves a hall passbut her name was associated with it so she is not fully free from criticism.

                        1. re: jfood

                          I hope I'm not blamed for something that happens in my workplace eight years after I've left.

                          It is true. She owned the building after 1996 but not the store. Nor did she have a hand at all in running it.



                          1. re: Leepa

                            Sorry, but I disagree.

                            If her name is on it and her recipes are being sold in it, then she has an obligation to make sure it meets the standards she sets forth.

                            Your reputation is your most valuable asset, if you sell that and expect a free pass, then you will suffer when others do not maintain your standards.

                          2. re: jfood

                            Of COURSE she's free from criticism of a business she sold years before. C'mon, that was the name of the store before she bought it, too.

                            1. re: mcf

                              well...yes and no, she was writing cookbooks with the name Barefoot Contessa, she wrote and talked about her store in the Hamptons. If it was me,and my name was so closely connected to the store, and I was the landlord, I'd take an interest in the business, as it would inevitably reflect on me.

          2. Before everyone launches World War III on Ina, consider there are always two sides to a story. It is my understanding that a lot parents try to game Make A Wish Foundation in order to extract benefits for themselves.

            I'd like to see a statement from Make A Wish Foundation before I condemned Ina.

            7 Replies
            1. re: ChinoWayne

              Has anyone looked at the Make A Wish site? Here's what I found

              "PHOENIX ­(March 25, 2011) – The Make-A-Wish Foundation has a very strong working relationship with Ina Garten, a celebrity wish granter who has generously made herself available to grant a wish in the past. Ina is a good friend of the Foundation and we are grateful to her for her support of our mission....."

              1. re: paulj

                Thanks Paul for putting out the other side of the story.

                1. re: paulj

                  Thanks--I think there's more to the story than TMZ reported, too. If she were booked, she's booked. It's not that easy to back out of a booked tour. Maybe they've caught her last minute because she's managed to do it before but couldn't these two times. We don't know and, based on that from Make a Wish, I wouldn't immediately jump to conclusions.

                  1. re: chowser

                    Except that she apparently won't attempt to schedule this wish sometime in the future. That's the part that bothers me. That's enough for me to consider Ina to be a (insert your favorite pejorative adjective here). I don't care what she has done in the past or what she does in the future. Right now she's a (insert your favorite pejorative adjective here).

                    Several years ago the national Make a Wish organization really turned me off after the Minnesota chapter granted a wish of a hunting trip. The national organization decided to no longer grant those wishes. My opinion softened a little because last November my niece and her entire family of 6 got to go to Disney World for a week and they were not allowed to pay for a single thing.

                      1. re: huiray

                        Who is Fry Me in Butter? I really don't like to read anonymous blogs. Unless Ina is getting 5 MAW requests a year, I don't really care that she has the right to turn them down. Of course she has that right and I have the right to think poorly of her for doing so.

                      2. re: John E.

                        We don't know that. Who knows if there was a time frame that didn't fit the first time so they took a pass? All we're hearing is one report from an unreliable source that has been known to stretch the truth. If she were that unresponsive to requests, I would think Make a Wish would not have her listed on their site.

                2. I don't consider TMZ a reputable news organization,so I will wait to see if we hear about this from a more reliable source before forming an opinion.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: karenfinan

                    Thank you, this. The second I saw TMZ I was like "just because you got lucky being the first to report that Michael Jackson bought it doesn't mean you're a credible news source." They always go for the dirt first.

                    1. re: karenfinan

                      I did a quick search and found a few other sites with the story. I bet it does hit the more mainstream media and Ina will have to deal with it and it will take more time and attention than if she would have granted the wish. Not to mention the negative media attention.

                      This won't cause me to boycot her show since I don't watch it anyway. (I've only used one of her recipes, shrimp bisque, which tastes good but I made a few changes so I'm calling it mine now).

                    2. There are always 2 sides to every story and a quasi-news organization will always pick the one guaranteed to get the most people up in arms. I don't know what Ina Gartens's personal situation is or what her schedule is or even why she may not choose to do this, but it is her choice and to trash her for it is ridiculous.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: NE_Elaine

                        The reps quote came across very cold however accurate it might be "Unfortunately, as much as she would like to, it’s absolutely impossible for her to grant every request she receives." This kid is DYING how many dying children want to cook with Ina?

                        1. re: michele cindy

                          You may think that the response is cold, but in my opinion it is a very professional response. You don't know how many requests of this sort Ms. Garten gets and responds to positively.

                          I think it is a shame that someone decided to go public with this information in some mis-guided effort to either smear Ms. Garten or force her to acquiese to this kids wish. I am sure there are many times when a wish cannot be fulfilled and I would question why this particular denial was deemed news-worthy.

                          Of course when I see the media outlets that are carrying this "news", I should not be too surprised. TMZ's headline news include stories of high journalistic import such as Linsey Lohans latest quest for publicity and the Kardasian's clubbing in NY. YAWN!

                          I stand by my original opinion - I see no reason to trash Ms. Garten and will not join in the rush to judge her based on this questionable article.

                          1. re: NE_Elaine

                            Do a search a TMZ on Beau MacMillan - you'll get story about him being arrested in Phoenix - over a dispute on the address on a parking ticket.

                            1. re: paulj

                              I looked it up. It was for an unpaid speeding ticket from photo enforced radar. He says he moved and never received the ticket. The speed-enforcement cameras in Arizona have been scrapped by the way.

                            2. re: NE_Elaine

                              I think it should have been a direct quote from Ina and not her rep. That's the part that really infuriates me.

                                1. re: karenfinan

                                  A direct quote from the person is more genuine in this type of sensitive situation, it gives the person the appearance of having more substance, even if they didn't write it themselves.

                        2. This could be no more than what's stated, one chef has a hard schedule and two others are flexible to step in. Looks like Enzo will have some fun with Simon and Beau. Both are real good guys.

                          1. I get appalled at all of the negative information coming via the gossip columns. If Ina Garten had chosen to grant this kid's wish, no one would have ever printed a word about it. Only the smutty, sensational stuff make those types of columns. Anyone sick of hearing about Lindsey Lohan?
                            Her antics are front page news and no where is there any thing left to say about the devastation in Japan after just a little more than a week. It's terrible.

                            While I think that the Make a Wish Foundation is a wonderful organization, is every wish a really granted? I'm not giving Ina Garten a pass, but who says she doesn't give to many different charities in many different ways.

                            I am still on the fence with this one, because both sides haven't been presented.

                            And I volunteered for a non-profit organization for charity donations and you wouldn't believe the amount of "no's" I received. Don't forget, there are many organizations out there, asking celebs for things. At some point, I am sure each and every one of them have said no.

                            1. I think it's totally fair game to "trash" her for this. Her entire empire and success is built upon the persona she has created. She is not a chef, as she correctly stated, but a TV personality. As such, public relations is her job. I don't care how busy her schedule is, she controls it, and makes priorities. That is how she became successful. She clearly does not consdier this child a priority, which is fine, and maybe she doesn't give a crap about public reaction, but there is bound to be some commentary, and it is completely warranted.
                              It sucks that she didn't do this. Point blank.
                              And to propose that parents are exploiting this situation to realise their own dream is less cynical than deciding that she is a self-important, selfish person? Illogical.

                              1. Sorry, but there's enough sick kids out there to keep every celebrity busy for the rest of their lives. There's nothing wrong with her saying no.

                                1. I'm just curious who "broke" the news to TMZ?

                                  If it was the kid, or the kid's parents ...

                                  1. there was another thread about this a few days ago, but it looks like it's been consigned to the dustbin of the Internet.

                                    There's something missing in this story somewhere...I don't care for Ina, but I don't really see her as being quite this hard-hearted, either. I also don't figure she's dumb enough to intentionally bring this sort of a PR black eye onto herself (she was smart enough to build the PR to get her to where she is....)

                                    On the other thread, it was mentioned that maybe Make A Wish shouldn't have published that this kid would get to cook with Ina until she'd confirmed.

                                    To me, this just comes up as a puzzle that's missing a few critical pieces -- you know, the ones that make you say OH, it's not a tiger, it's a DUCK!

                                    1. Isn't TMZ the dumbed down version of the Saturday Night Live segment? :-)

                                      Garten used to have a store in East Hampton where the staff was about as rude as possibe, even for EH standards. It shut down when no one would go. She may not be a saint but TMZ is no purveyor on white snowed commentary.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: jfood

                                        saturday night live segments can be dumbed down?

                                      2. 1) Her publicist should be fired.

                                        2) The family friend should be too. They asked, she had no obligation, too bad. I hate entitlement even if it is for a really sick kid. I hate that we live in a culture where anyone, anywhere, who doesn't get what they want spews their feud on the internet/twitter. Have some personal dignity.

                                        3) I am sorry she wasn't able to make a sick kid's dream come through.

                                        1. Make a Wish grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses, not just terminally ill children. Yes, it is still heartbreaking to see a kid going through what this boy is facing but we don't know that he is terminally ill based on the article in TMZ.

                                          There are often reasons outside of scheduling that get in the way of granting wishes to kids. Sometimes there are things requested that are not safe or logistically doable.

                                          With that said, it this boy's heart's desires is to cook with Ina, it would be wonderful for her to find a way to make it happen. But judging her as a horrible person based on the "facts" reported by that oh-so-reliable tabloid TMZ is just not fair.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. It's just incredible how entitled some people have become. Charity is just that -- charity. One gives what one can, according to one's interests. No one can grant every request.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                              Well there is the idea of Noblesse oblige - which I suppose in this case means celebrities are obligated to help others by sharing their limelight. However the best exponent of that ideal (to my mind) was Audrey fforbes-Hamilton of the Britcom To the Manor Born - even if she wasn't always successful in getting the point across to the new lord of the manor.

                                              1. re: paulj

                                                But the Noblesse was never expected to oblige every supplicant.

                                            2. I think there are two sides to every story as stated by others here. Ina appears to be a smart woman, even if she is a horrible person I doubt she would be dumb enough to make such a PR blunder. So I'm sure there was a lack of communication some where down the line. It is amazing how mob mentality broke out so quickly and people were ready to lynch her without any news from her camp.

                                              1. Why was the original post on this news piece deleted while this new one remained? It's nearly identical in replies? Very odd. Anyway...the MAWF should not have made a pledge or even the promise of a wish known to the child/child's family without having it confirmed in writing by Ina Garten. Dozens of celeb and fantastical wishes happen every month at MAWF nationally without issue. MAWF is the coordinator and custodian of every wish granted. They are responsible for this (if it's based in truth) unfortunate nationally reported incident. The negative press doesn't bode well for MAWF either.

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  I am the original poster of this news - and I have no idea why it was deleted. Maybe because I quoted text from TMZ.. Whatever the reason - I don't care.

                                                  I work at a very high profile medical center - in Radiation Oncology. I've been there for 26 years and have seen many, many sick people. I love Ina's show - I record it because I'm at work when it's on. She does get a little redundant with her recipes - but they're easy recipes that anyone should be able to follow.

                                                  This child is very sick and he's been through a long journey if he's been ill for 3 years. He deserves having his wish granted - I don't care how "busy" Ina is. It wouldn't take that long and it would be great PR for Ina too.

                                                  So glad Michael (love him) and Beau have stepped up - he will have such a good time cooking with these guys!

                                                  1. re: Jeanne

                                                    Hi Jeanne, Was that you? I couldn't recall. I just assumed the thread vaborized because it become a hot topic...when I returned to it and saw it gone...and then saw this thread it confused me.

                                                    We all (obviously) have our own opinion about this news piece. I'm more disappointed in MAWF than any celeb. I've worked in non profit management for 25 years, no wish should have been made public if it was 100% going to happen. This is the second piece food related to Ina Garten and fundraising that raised eye brows (the other was a fundraiser at her home) that involved celebs. I think the media is just on a Ina tear at the moment.

                                                    MAWF should make a statement and clarify the story.

                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                      Did you read MAWF statement? Do you want more detail from them?

                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                        Actually, I contacted my rep at MAWF to inquire personally. My company has been a MAWF sponsor for the last seven years. I was referring to the lack of immediate response in the associated press. I've known about this "drama" for quite awhile.

                                                        But, thank you for asking, pauj.

                                                    2. re: Jeanne

                                                      I feel bad for the kid because he's innocent in all of this. However, he does not simply "deserve" to get his wish granted.

                                                      Neither the Make A Wish Foundation nor Ina Garten are magic genies here to grant every wish. There are practical realities and logistics to be considered. I've had occasion to work with celebrities of Garten's stature and they tend to be inundated with requests for their time. As much as they'd like to grant them all, they simply can't. There isn't enough time in the day. You can't just "make time." There are demands of their work. They can't drop it all. There are too many people who depend on them. And there are other charitable demands as well. It's a lot more complicated than it seems.

                                                      The reality is that the very fame that makes celebrities the object of Make a Wish kids desire also makes them hard to schedule. They are very busy people.

                                                      We don't know what limits the child's family put on the Garten in terms of time and place for their visit.

                                                      It's unfortunate for Garten that her PR people are so incompetent that they couldn't handle this situation in a way that it didn't blow up in her face.

                                                      With regard to Symon and MacMillan, offers have been made, but these wishes too are a long way from being carried out. There are logistics to be worked out there, too. They're both a long way from being a done deal.

                                                      1. re: taos

                                                        Thank you. A voice of reason.

                                                  2. Here's more on the story - including a link to the mother's blog where she explains that her son was turned down twice by Ina . After the first time she claimed she was too busy he opted to wait.

                                                    I get that this is optional for her, she's under no obligation, etc. All I can say is if ever I am in a position to make a very ill little boy's wish come true by spending a few hours with him and I am "too busy" - well, I hereby give my friends and family advance permission to kick my ungrateful a$$ from Malibu to Riverside and back.


                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: RoxyGrl

                                                      Wow. There are some seriously vitriolic comments there (I'm speaking for the most part about the LA Times)

                                                      It is an unfortunate situation, from what one can glean, but my guess is that very little is known save for that Ina Garten could not accommodate a request. One does not know how many requests she does accommodate and given that among these are high profile charity luncheons, one might wonder if she's not committed to raising a lot of money for organisations-- maybe even organisations that benefit sick children! One also does not know what she is dealing with in her life, so I'll leave her, and not some random commenter, to determine how busy she is. Similarly, I'd prefer not to leave it to some random commenter to assess whether or not she has sufficiently "given back" to the community. One simply does not know, and as was noted above, it is not necessarily possible to accommodate every demand that comes one's way.

                                                      I find it rather offputting that this has gone public. It is too bad for the child both to be ill and to have a request refused, but this kind of public castigation doesn't seem the best way to handle it. (I'm also baffled that the Mum is now rattling on about swimming with dolphins even as her son has no interest; why not help her son get excited about cooking with others?)

                                                      Oh, why did I even start this? Oh, right, because I am procrastinating.

                                                      1. re: Lizard

                                                        I think we have this idea that we bestow the American Dream of riches, fame, and power on celebrities. Along with that is the idea that they are somehow obligated to perform in ways that We the Public find palatable, and that we can revoke that adoration based on the most specious of reasons.

                                                        Celebrity culture is sick to the core on both sides. The fact that people are going "ZOMG she hates sick kids" is just repulsive.

                                                        1. re: JonParker

                                                          Well said. I will agree with other posters who have stated we don't know her schedule, we don't know her life.

                                                    2. Ack. I sent her an e-mail urging her to meet the kid, make a show out of it, even. You can, too.

                                                      ina@barefootcontessa.com (someone must read it who reports to her.)

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: Jay F

                                                        Enzo's mother appears to have had second thoughts on the uproar she caused and it now asking people to move on from Ina:

                                                        1. re: taos

                                                          the mother sounds like she is the problem. How could anyone turn down her little darling???Well, maybe it is one request of many, many,many, and as others have written, celebrity wishes are usually not granted due to the high volume of wishes. And it is not a bad lesson for a child to learn they don't get everything they ask for. And the ONLY thing he wants is Ina? I call bullshit on that.Again it seems to me tha the mom is the problem.

                                                          1. re: karenfinan

                                                            "her little darling" give the mom a break, her son has been suffering for years, and in the end may die from cancer, she may have a problem, but given the circumstance, most moms would freak out if they knew their child had cancer or any other terminal disease. I can't blame someone in her shoes doing whatever she can to make her sick child at ease and bring some joy into his life.

                                                            1. re: michele cindy

                                                              well, we see it differently then.

                                                              1. re: michele cindy

                                                                actually, if you read the mom's blog, she says that Enzo is NOT TERMINAL - caps are her emphasis, not mine.

                                                                The more of this I read, the more I think it's a little bit of everyone. Still don't know the root of it, but trying to guilt someone into saying yes is pretty low-class...and at this point not sure whether THAT comes from Mom or from MAW...she says she was shocked when the story broke, MAW says that Ina is a friend of the organization -- they can't BOTH be telling the truth, the whole truth and nuthin but the truth. Somebody spilled it!

                                                        2. Sure, Ina has no obligation to grant a wish for a sick child.

                                                          I'm sure her PR people will come up with some spectacular gesture to make her seem wonderful again. So much negative publicity, it can't be ignored. Just give it a day.

                                                          I wish I could help Enzo. Cheers to Michael Symon and Beau MacMillan.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                            I guess my take on this is a little different. I think this incident is damaging to the Make A Wish Foundation. Declining to participate in a wish (for whatever reason) should not be made public, nor should it lead to villification.

                                                            1. re: DaisyM

                                                              I agree it shouldn't have been made public. But it was.

                                                              1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                Yes, and the MAWF could have taken the opportunity to clarify and state their national policy on wishes granted. I'm more critical of the custodial image of the foundation than the people (& there are hundred of famous and "regular" joes supporting children thru MAW) who volunteer their time and talent. Press of this nature can also spoil future wish granting. Embarrassing anyone into becoming a donor is tasteless and counter productive.

                                                              2. re: DaisyM

                                                                This was made public on the mothers blog, where she's advocating cookbook bonfires. "nuff said.

                                                                1. re: lcuellar

                                                                  Rather sad all the way around.

                                                            2. I don't have an issue with Ina Garten turning down the chance. She's not obligated to be charitable in anyway and I'm sort of glad that she "dared" turn it down.

                                                              To be angered because someone did something that's not obligated of them... Well, I would urge you to think about that and see how easily it can be turned. When does "volunteer" work turn into an "obligation?" It's not far from trying to control another person's behavior/beliefs.

                                                              People get asked all the time about charities and often turn down the offer. Heck, I'm betting every single person here has gotten something in the mail (or some form of communication) that requested time and/or money for a charity. If you gave, good for you. If you didn't, good for you. It's one small act and it'd be foolish of me to judge on that.

                                                              Ina Garten's food and career are what I'll judge her and other chefs on.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: ediblover

                                                                I'm glad I'm not alone in feeling that people still get to choose what they do with their time and money....as long as it is legal.

                                                                1. re: DaisyM

                                                                  I definitely agree. I suppose the internet troll appropriate response would be "For the majority of posters, how often are you in the soup kitchen?"

                                                              2. I don't know why this wish was turned down, but the way it's been put out in the viral media makes me wonder. We've only heard one side of this story.

                                                                1. Make a Wish calls Ina Garten a "friend of Make a Wish" and said she has granted wishes in the past.
                                                                2. The original wish was when the kid was 3 and she was scheduled already for the time he requested the wish. (Do 3 year olds really want to cook?)
                                                                3. The child is not terminal, but ill with a 96% survival rate of his type of leukemia.
                                                                4. The mother is the one milking this, not Make a Wish.

                                                                I'm waiting for the other side of the story before I start stoning the woman.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: lcuellar

                                                                  5. The viral media listed under a simple Google search is entirely gossip-news wire.
                                                                  6. Mob mentality sells.

                                                                  It's a very sad day for doing good.

                                                                2. I've read both sides and it seems shes way too busy or at least her reps thinks she is. Hard to beleive that she doesn't have 2 hours to meet with this child or let the child be on the show. She had friends kids on there before.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Just Plain Craig

                                                                    Doesn't have 2 hours? You do realize that you can't fly from New York to Portland, meet with someone, and fly back to New York in 2 hours?

                                                                  2. i've always found Ina Garten to be unwatchable, and most of her recipes don't do it for me...but i'm not one to just "pile on" and crucify someone without knowing the facts.

                                                                    on one hand, it does seem odd that, if the child's mother is telling the truth, her son first requested this when he was 3 years old. on the other hand, if this boy really has been trying to meet her for 2 or 3 years, and Ina Garten really is "a friend of the foundation" and has granted wishes for other kids in the past, i find it extremely difficult to believe that she can't spare an hour or two for him. she can't be THAT busy. and true, she's under no *obligation* to do so, but it's difficult to imagine that she's inundated with requests like this, so when the occasional one does come in, why not just find a way to make it happen?

                                                                    whatever the truth, this has obviously turned into a PR disaster for her, and i hate to say that *anyone* should be bullied by public opinion into doing something to save their reputation, but at this point i think the Contessa should at least release a public statement about the matter.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: huiray

                                                                        Great link, huiray. I completely agree with the author. There is definitely some sexist thought being played out in this little melodrama. And no is a part of life. Even for kids with cancer. The end.

                                                                        1. re: Vetter

                                                                          You're right, a father would never make such a big deal of it. :-)

                                                                        2. re: huiray

                                                                          Great link, thanks! A voice of reason (with additional thoughtful points regarding the sexism not to mention the ugly fat-hate of the discourse).

                                                                      2. I can't believe how viral this has become. Folks are losing their ever-loving minds! Ina's turning down this request has somehow turned Ina into a Satan-worshiping, child-eating, puppy-kicking witch!

                                                                        1. First she serves that tacky lunch to winning bidders at a charity auction, and now this... It sounds as if the family/mother have been behaving badly, but after that awful charity luncheon at her house that was actually aired without shame, this was probably a bad move on her part.

                                                                          But I, too, feel like the publicity and the mother's behavior don't pass the smell test.

                                                                          1. The mother says these things:
                                                                            "I actually feel badly for her because Enzo has NOTHING but pure love and intensions and she will never get to have that experience with him and she is missing out on something so authentic and beautiful."

                                                                            "I am quite sure if you are reading this you are the kind of person who would understand what a tremendous honor it would be to have a child choose you for their M.A.W."

                                                                            Apparently she didn't understand no means no the first time.

                                                                            1. From someone who grew up on Long Island & remembers Diva Ina all too well from her little Hamptons grocery store days, I think the child is being given a lucky reprieve & will enjoy himself much MUCH more with Michael Symon et al.

                                                                              Sorry, but I hope this comes up to bite her in the a** in the worst way. It's about time her pretentiousness was taken down a peg or four.

                                                                              1. Having been active with Make A Wish in my state for many years, I want to clarify a few things. First, MAW grants wishes to children with life threatening illnesses. There are MANY children who recover from these illnesses and go on to lead long happy lives. While there are certainly some children who succumb to their illnesses, and require rush wishes, this does not appear to be one of those. The training of wish granters always includes making sure that the wish granter does not guarantee any particular wish. In fact, the child is always asked to list back up wishes should their first choice not be available. The part of this story that does not make sense to me is that Ina said that she was "too busy". Many children wait long periods of time for their wishes. And, with celebrity wishes that is often the case. Some celebrities choose to meet with more than one wish kid at a time so that they can work it into their schedule. From what I have read (and admittedly the media is only reporting some of the facts), it does not appear that this wish needed to be completed within any particular time period. The entire controversy would have been eliminated if Garten's people simply said that they would let MAW know when her schedule freed up. And, if she had wanted to work it into her show in order to benefit from the visit then MAW would have certainly done that as well. MAW does not publicly announce when a celebrity declines to grant a wish. From what is on here it seems that the family or friends of the family may have done that. Unfortunately, I imagine that someone made the poor decision to publicize this thinking that it might put pressure on Garten to participate. Clearly it had the opposite effect and there really is no way that she will likely bow to that pressure now.......... Make a Wish is a wonderful organization. The Hope Strength and Joy that is given to the child as a result of the wish is truly something that is indescribable. Please rethink that vitriole that this thread has taken. So much good comes of this organization and so many wonderful people work tirelessly for and volunteer tirelessly for it. I hate that Make A Wish's intentions and actions are being questioned. All of the people with whom I worked were and are solely interested in making children happy. It is difficult emotionally to have to deal with sick children and families who are dealing with those illnesses. My hat is off to all of the people who do this on a daily basis. Let's channel all of this criticism towards making sure that we each do what we can for those in need. Sorry for the soapbox but I get VERY defensive of this terrific organization.

                                                                                1. I would be interested in knowing how many requests Ina does grant, to different organizations and how many requests she gets. I know someone who was very insulted that local businesses wouldn't support her cause--she never considered how often they get hit up and that they have to pick what they can. But, that didn't stop her from bad mouthing the businesses. I think people need to get more facts before badmouthing others.

                                                                                  1. We've had to remove a number of very mean-spirited comments from this discussion, and we think it's best if we close this topic to further discussion now.