The Food Network star will be sipping her signature Cosmopolitan with Dr. Jill Biden and virtual guests to support the former Vice President's presidential bid

By Shay Spence
September 08, 2020
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Noam Galai/WireImage; Win McNamee/Getty
Noam Galai/WireImage; Win McNamee/Getty

Ina Garten is raising money — and a glass — for Joe Biden's presidential bid.

On Thursday, the Food Network star will be interviewing the former Vice President's wife Dr. Jill Biden for Cocktails and Conversation, an online fundraising event for the campaign.

Though the Barefoot Contessa host used to be a White House nuclear budget analyst in the Jimmy Carter administration, she has mostly shied away from political statements (besides joking that she would serve President Donald Trump "a subpoena" for dinner) during her career as a culinary star. "I'm not political," Garten tells PEOPLE. "I think if you research you'll find I've supported political programs privately but I've never been really public about it—but sometimes you just have to do it."

"As a country, we need to pull this together. We need to stop being divisive and be positive and supportive and collaborative," she adds. "[Biden] is a guy who's been in Congress for decades and has a reputation for working across the aisle, and I think that's exactly what we need right now."

Garten says she has never met the Bidens, but she does have a relationship with former First Lady Michelle Obama, who appeared on her cooking show in 2016. "The only other person I've ever interviewed was actually Mrs. Obama," says Garten. "And I've certainly never done anything like this virtually, but everybody tells me Dr. Biden's wonderful, and that we'll have a really good time together."

The lifestyle guru will be also providing a signature drink for the event, which requires a minimum contribution of $250 to attend. Guests will be given the recipe for the cocktail ahead of time, and they're calling it a "Winning Ticket Watermelon Cosmopolitan."

Garten is known for her affinity for Cosmopolitans after going viral for making a massive version of the cocktail on her Instagram in April, when nationwide lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic were still in place.

Ina Garten Instagram

Though she says she didn't anticipate that the video would strike such a chord with so many, she says that connecting with her audience on social media has been therapeutic for her, particularly in the earlier stages of the pandemic.

"It kind of gave me a focus and a purpose when we didn't have one, and we didn't know what was going to happen," she says. "And it connected me with people that were really struggling. I think people felt that I kept it upbeat, and even though we were all anxious, that it was still fun."

Garten's Cocktails and Conversation event with Jill Biden takes place this Thursday, Sept. 10, at 8 p.m. ET.

This Story Originally Appeared On People