Married for 48 years, the Barefoot Contessa and husband Jeffrey are a match made in a heavenly smelling kitchen.
Jeffrey and Ina Garten attend The 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in California. Mark Davis | Getty Images
Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa fame has been married to her husband Jeffrey for an admirable 48 years. Go ahead and coo! (Especially if they have been married longer than you have been alive.) As fans know, part of their strength as a couple comes from their seemingly abounding kindness and consideration for each other, so it’s hardly surprising that they’ve lasted so long as love birds. Their commitment shows others that a good marriage isn’t rife with drama; it’s full of comforting consistency,thoughtfulness, and tenderness. For Ina, Jeffrey has what really counts: a big heart and a winning personality.
“I think he’s like the husband we all want,” Ina told People in an exclusive interview. “Totally supportive, adorable, smart, funny, and incredibly generous.” Meanwhile, Jeffrey says he feels “inspired by her all the time.”
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The two have been together ever since they met as teenagers. Ina was visiting her brother at Dartmouth when she ran into Jeffrey—and the rest is history. And if it weren’t for Jeffrey, Ina says she might not have pursued her passion for cooking at all. She says he encouraged her to launch her now nationally renowned career as a Food Network host and best-selling cookbook author.
Ina’s latest cookbook, Cooking for Jeffrey, is a celebration of their marriage in many ways. The book is a tribute to the dishes Jeffrey has asked Ina to cook over and over again during their years together. But through all those recipes, any reader can smell something else cooking: the couple’s dedication to each other.
In honor of the new book release, we thought you should see Ina and Jeffrey in action, too. These four videos really show their heartwarming bond, and might even inspire you to compliment your spouse more often, or cook his favorite meal tonight.
1. Jeffrey always compliments Ina (awww)
Jeffrey is such an affectionate husband that he says he gets other husbands in trouble! Wives of friends and strangers often joke that they want their husbands to be as sweet as Jeffrey is to Ina. It’s always nice to feel appreciated, right ladies? But Ina doesn’t stiff Jeffrey on praise, either—the best kind of admiration is a two-way street.
2. Ina cooks for Jeffrey before she goes away
Before any overnight trip, Ina lovingly stocks the fridge with prepared meals for her husband. Otherwise Jeffrey might just subsist on junk food! (Don’t many of us fear our husbands would do the same?) Ina makes sure to prep hearty, tasty dishes that will keep Jeffrey out of the cookie jar.
3. They have the sweetest anniversary celebrations
A home-cooked meal for anniversary number 39 was just what the couple ordered. But if you want to see what their relationship is really all about skip to minute 20 in the video above. Ina presents Jeffrey with Coq au Vin, a wrapped present, and a cake that looks similar to their original wedding cake. And Jeffrey? He surprises her with two huge bags, all full of wrapped gifts. (We’re guessing there was one present for each year of their marriage. Wow.)
4. C’mon, Ina wrote a whole book about cooking for Jeffrey
Ina so adores cooking for Jeffrey that it just made sense to write a book about his favorite dishes. She says he is always gracious about what she makes and has never once complained about being served something he didn’t like. This filet mignon with mushroom sauce is one of Jeffrey’s top picks, and it looks incredible. What a lucky husband!
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