She sums it up in two words.
"So many people ask, 'What does Barefoot Contessa mean?'" begins Ina Garten's latest blog post. If you're one of the many Ina fans who have asked that very question, you might already know the direct origin: Ina named her show and cookbook franchise after East Hampton kitchen store, and it's also the name of a 1954 movie starring Ava Gardner and Humphrey Bogart.
It was actually the previous owners who chose the name of the store, which she purchased in 1978. In the past, Garten has explained, "The former owner is Italian and her family called her the Barefoot Contessa when she was young."
Gearing up for the biggest night in Hollywood—the Academy Awards this Sunday—Ina took the opportunity in her latest post to revisit the origin story and shed light on what it really means to her:
"It was the original name of my specialty food store after a movie with Ava Gardner and Humphrey Bogart. But for me, it means being both elegant and earthy."
Two words could not define Ina any better.
And the recipe that she thinks embodies it all? Deviled eggs with smoked salmon and caviar. Though there are many Oscars-themed dishes you could make come Sunday night, as Ina says about her smoked salmon deviled eggs, "How bad could that be??"