Real Time Web Analytics Foodie Gossip: The Child the Barefoot Contessa Denies: Michael Symon comes to Rise

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Child the Barefoot Contessa Denies: Michael Symon comes to Rise

 Food Network star Beau MacMillan and Iron Chef Michael Symon
Ina Garten’s rejection of a cancer-stricken child’s last wish is her loss. Enzo is now a hero and celebrity chefs Michael Symon and Beau MacMillan both want to cook with him! According to TMZ, both the Iron Chef and the Food Network star (far more important than the Contessa) stepped forward to fill the nasty void Ina Garten left after she stone-heartedly decided she couldn’t make space in her busy kitchen-life for a little one-on-one cook-off with Enzo.

It’s clear that the world is disgusted by The Barefoot Contessa’s rejection of a wish made by the terminally ill six-year-old boy, Enzo, through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. And rightfully so! After writing my last post (and my mother reading it, phoning me and telling me I was a bit harsh), I took some time to really think about the story and analyze my perspective. Was I too harsh? Am I spreading Barefoot Contessa hate?

Not at all! And here’s my personal perspective: I began cooking at the age of five – helping my mother make brownies, making cinnamon toast, etc… And then whipping up Asian stir-fry’s and making my own pies and cookies from scratch by the time I was nine.  As a young child, I loved everything about cooking. I loved to watch “Yan Can Cook” and “Jacques Pépin” on PBS every Saturday morning – more than ABC’s stellar Saturday morning cartoons (Conjunction Junction).

However, if I had been diagnosed with a terminal illness as a young child, my last wish would not have been to cook with any of the celebrity chefs I watched on TV. My wish would have been to spend a day with my best friend at an amusement park (riding rollercoasters) or swimming with dolphins (as Enzo chose to do after Ina Garten rejected him) or maybe even to meet Wonder Woman in person (skipping the picture post for this).

I was born and raised a “Foodie” and I still would have picked other options as my “last wish” than to pick cooking with my favorite chef. My point is this:

Six-year-old Foodie, Enzo, dreamed of Barefoot cooking
Ina Garten may be the busiest celebrity chef in the world, but there is NO WAY that she’s receiving last wish requests from dying babies on a daily – or even yearly – basis who want to cook with her. That’s asinine. She may be participating in charity events and donating money, but that type of charity is for promotional purposes only.

I’m touched by Enzo’s wish. I love that there is proof that children can love the culinary world as much as I did as a child (and still do – obviously). But moreover, I love that celebrity chefs such as Michael Symon and Beau MacMillan (who are FAR more famous than the Barefoot Contessa) will step forward so quickly and make room in their VERY busy schedules to cook with the culinary child-wonder.

Symon and MacMillan have scored major points in my book.

Just as a side-note, I get that the Make-A-Wish Foundation probably receives donations from Ina Garten and doesn’t want the boat rocked. The Make-A-Wish Foundation is not to blame for this story leaking. This publicity monstrosity would have come out with or without the much-loved organization's participation. The Barefoot Contessa’s only hope should be that the Make-A-Wish Foundation stands by her through the fallout of her heartless rejection.

Am I being too harsh now?


  1. Too harsh? Nope! You should see her facebook fan page. Such anger and I don't blame a single one of them. She did the most heartless thing anyone could do. Really? She has time for healthy, rich celebs but not a sick little boy that probably doesn't have much time left. What a cruel and evil woman.

  2. The Barefoot Contessa has lost my respect. What a heartless mean woman. What she did to Enzo is the lowest of all low.
    Shame on you Ina!!!

  3. PLEASE stop using the words "Last Wish" The biggest misconception is that Make a Wish grants wishes for children with terminal illnesses when it is in fact for children with life threatening illnesses or conditions. Yes, some of the children do in fact pass away, but not all of them! I was granted a wish when I was 11 because I had Leukemia. I am now a healthy adult with children of my own. My wish was a wonderful experience and something I will always remember fondly. I do not think you are being harsh, I just want to make sure you have the facts straight about the Foundation!

  4. Hey FG, I think you're not being harsh at all! In fact, this is relatively mild compared to what she deserves!

  5. Not to harsh at all. I hope the Food Network dumps Ina's show and replaces it with one that stars Beau. Symon already has shows that he is on. Both men or now aces in my book. Ina Garten not so much. My channel will change so fast when ever I see her face. I do not hate her, but I have a very strong dislike for her.


    We have launched a boycott EVIL INA campaign. Enzo is so cute and his sad fate
    awaits him. Give him joy on this Earth while he is still here:

    I was a huge INA fan until I read this story.

    There is no excuse for not cooking a meal with a 6 Year old terminal cancer patient.

    Here’s how you can join in:


    Email Evil Ina

    Media Inquiries
    Please contact Barbara Libath
    (631) 324-0884

  7. Yep, too harsh. Why hop on the hateful bandwagon and spread more negativity? I think your venom is way over the top. I read the mom's post, and it's clear that this is the exact response that she wanted to engender (i.e., her glee at a Contessa cookbook bonfire). For all her repeated boasts that her child was wonderful and positive in the face of his terrible diagnosis, I can't jump on board with her mission to tear down someone else. I would've granted any child's wish that included me, but I'm not going to rant and rave b/c someone else wasn't as charitable as I think they should've been. Where's the charity in that?

    1. They're not the ones that seeking sympathy or charity that little boy is

  8. Not too harsh at all! In fact, I'd say you weren't being harsh enough! Ina is a C-list "celebrity" chef. There are tons more chefs that are way more famous that this little boy could have picked and he chose her. And her sad pathetic excuse that her schedule is too busy is crap. I mean, if Bill Clinton could grant a MAW wish from a child while he was in the White House, and even Obama now, then Ina freaking Garten can surely find time. And even Masaharu Morimoto granted a little boy's wish to meet and cook with him! I agree with you that Ina has always given off this air of elitism. I definitely will be changing the channel if I ever come across her show again.

  9. I don't think you are being too harsh. If she really wanted to help this little boy, she wouldn't have had to make special time in her schedule, she could have had him come to where she films the show and cooked with him. I occasionally watched her show before this and I will never watch it again. Michael Symon, on the other hand, has moved to the top of my chef viewing list.

  10. I am so disgusted by Ina Garten in this situation and that in and of itself made me swear that I will never watch her show again (Not that her show was on my DVR schedule anyway,) I am so glad that Symon and MacMillan stepped up and showed Ina the way to be saintly.

  11. So Ina Garten is expected to visit with any sick kid that demands it.

    Actually more than that---she is expected to "cook a meal" with him!

    I'm sorry for the kid being sick. But I'm less sorry that his wish was not immediately granted (actually I suspect it's really his mother's wish---what kid watches a cooking show?). Usually wishes don't come true, and being sick doesn't change that.

    And I'm outraged that this manipulative mother used her sick kid as extortion to gin up so much hate for a private person who, despite hosting a cooking show, wants to remain private.

  12. How can you be accused of being too harsh ?! Old INA is the harsh one here. My family and I looked forward to watching her shows..NOT NOW ! I just hope that she has realized what a cruel heart she has. Many people have lost respect for her , and rightfully so. God Bless Enzo. And ,thanks guys for stepping up to the plate..I know it will be dee-lish ! And making that child feel important and cared for will be great medicine. BOYCOTT barefoot Contessa..she smells Really bad !

  13. The Food Network needs to fire Ina Garten. She's Heartless

  14. I am disgusted by Ina's decision. I won't watch her show anymore and am giving away her books. It's clear that she's all about the money she can make by promoting her books and making food for her Hampton friends. How much money do you need anyways? She couldn't find the time to fly him to her home and set up a kitchen on her property. She cooks outside all the time. Big mistake. I hope the food network brings her down.

  15. Michael Symon is awesome!

  16. Ina garten i think she has done this harsh rejection....becuz she was busy?....but if she has time for these get togethers with her gay friends or game night why not for enzo....unexpectableina!!!!

  17. To many busy bodies in this world.You don't know what really went on to judge this woman..I would be angry too if people were judging me in that way. I feel a lot of hurt for the little boy,and his family.I know I lost my son with leukemia at age 6 in 1975 You never forget that.By you doing what your doing is just going to haunt people for the rest of there lives if you don't stop.Perhaps maybe all of you should really think about that,and mind your own business,and open up your own closet

  18. This you can easily be on the other foot she could be the one sick she needs to think about that