Shocking news – I am not actually Ina Garten

Have you recovered from that bombshell?

It’s true, I’ve misled you for too long, I really am not a giggly stinkingly wealthy Jewish TV cook from The Hamptons.    I’m really just a 38-year-old, London suburbia dwelling office manager.

Can you spot the difference:


The real Ina Garten passing the time fondling tomatoes.

NOT Ina Garten

NOT Ina Garten

So I apologies to the people who thought I was Ina Garten when they wrote in to me.   I actually do explain to each person I’m not Ina Garten and even try to help with their cooking dilemma and only today I advised someone who is allergic to olive oil what they can use as a substitute.  But for this post’s purpose I am just being sarcastic.

This is a selection of the mail I receive from people thinking I am Ina Garten:


“hey ina I live in England and just started watching ur back to basics programme its awesome ty u so remind me of a lady I stay with wen over visiting in the states seeing u made me so home sick for the states if ever im in ur neck of the woods e.g. ur area id love to pop in for a chat over one of ur delisious soups tc ina keep up the good work u and Jeffery are wonderful people”

Hi, Do you just  pop in to see The Queen over there in the UK?  No?  Well I am like her but a wealthier American version, so what do you think?   Buy my book


“Hi Ina,
I can cook practically anything. But the one thing I have trouble making is homemade macaroni and cheese. Can you tell me the secret to preparing a great Mac n Cheese dinner. Thank you, Lori”

So you can cook salmon poached in a liquorice gel with artichokes, vanilla mayonnaise and golden trout roe but you struggle at Mac and Cheese?


“I always see Ina dumping fresh berries straight from the plastic carton into recipes..don’t you have to rinse them first?”

My sweet, this is all done prior at the factory where people on minimum wage do this all day.   Don’t forget, buy my book


I just adore your shoe. I think that you and Jeffrey made a great couple.
I know that this might be insignificant, but couds you please tell me the name of that background music…. When I have company over I think that the music would get a great ambiance for our little get togethers….It is soothing yet has a little move your hips to the beat effect.. Please help… You and Jeffrey Stay Cute.”

You adore my shoe? You never see my shoes on the show, I’m actually standing on a stool when cooking as I am 4ft 2.   And that music is trademarked, use it at your peril, I’m extremely powerful.


Dear Ina, I’m Gloria and I am the inventor of the Lid Bin. Home Invention’s has it on their website promoting it to the manufacturing companies. It’s a great idea and I can’t believe no one has thought of it. It holds your lid while cooking on the stove top and not make a mess!
How cool is that? I watch every show on the Food Network and every cook/chef puts their lid on the counter or stove. NO!! Its a mess. I have a CD prototype I want to mail to you, it won’t go through email. I would love for you to see it or you may go to Home Invention web sight. Log on with user name and password the same. GFishe18975.
P.S Or any suggestions?

Hi, Your “How cool is that” phrase is very similar to my “How Easy Is That™ phrase.   Watch where you step here..

Why won’t a CD go through the mail?  I have a very large slot in my (mail)box, it accepts many different sized packages.


“Hello ina im really having a hard time making spaghetti and meatballs my meatballs comes out not so good how long can i keep my meatballs in the pot thanx.”

You can find out in my book


“Hi ina,me my mum and my sister love your show! We are making a cake and we want to know how do you get the cake to rise perfectly? Thank”

This is a common problem for people who aren’t me.


“I am familiar with the dishtowels you use on your show, but I can no longer find them anywhere. What’s the brand name – maybe I can find them on line.”

Honey, how the hell would I know, Can you imagine me standing in line at Wal-Mart.  I have people who buy these for me.


“Ian hi just love your programme but not how much salt you use can you not cut it down its a killer xxx

  Ian?  I haven;t had a sex change!.  I am very wealthy so have access to the finest medical treatment and have my arteries unclogged weekly.   It’s fabulous to be me.   Did you order my book yet?







Leave a comment


  1. You’re not fooling me Ina! I’d recognise that warm and friendly smile anywhere. So, Ina, I know you’re a lady of the people, so could you please give me some ideas for what I could serve at a light spring luncheon party with friends, using only ingredients available from the local foodbank. Thank you. Love the show!

    • Being my kind of foodbank it would involve much champagne and caviar. You mean people can’t afford this?

  2. I reblogged your post and I still get questions too!!! 😀 Recently there was actually a very funny one about baking cookies in the mountains and how they crumble… I suggested she might want to move to a better climate.

    • No way! I expect Ina is in her mansion laughing about hos we are getting her junk mail.

      Good advice but I would have replied with “that’s the way the cookie crumbles”

  3. Heart of Gold! I’m buying her book…

  4. You would do a great cooking show Joe!

  5. Dear Ina –
    I understand now that Paula is off the air, you and Jeffrey are plotting to take over her timeslot. I hope you’ve asked Joe Hoover to work for you to smooth the rougher roads on your passage across the pond.
    I understand he also personally knows the Queen (as most English do), as well as 750 different recipes for tea!
    I eagerly await his presence on your show.

    ps – buy his book.
    pps – love the scruffy look in your second pic above.

  6. For not being Ina, your answer about the Mac n Cheese makes too much sense …. so are you Jeffrey?

  7. Joe, this is out on left field, but have you heard Pharrell’s “happy” song? What is your expert opinion?

    • You can’t avoid that song! Although I managed to, I’ve only heard snippets on adverts as I don’t listen to mainstream radio.

      (I’m such a music snob)

      • Alright music snob, what’s your opinion on “what does the fox say”? Or have you managed to avoid that too?

  8. You’re very patient with these ill informed people.

    • I like advising them, though they probably don’t get the replies if they are not on wordpress

  9. Dear Ina/Ian/Whatever Your Name Is,
    I am deeply offended at your stunt. You tricked us into turning to you in our hour of need, exposing our deepest insecurities and kitchen related issues. You should be put in prison for impersonating a famous chef from the Hamptons.
    Still Trying To Figure Out The Proper Way To Fondle Tomatoes

    • Ina would be queen bee in prison. Maybe she could get a role in orange is the new black to try it out

  10. You are getting weirder… and I like it… and you look good…

  11. Love you Joe…U r bloody hilarious.!!! As a Yorkshire lass myself…Why the hell does Ina wear a blouse instead of a ‘pinny’ ?? Why is her hair hanging over the food?? Why is her hair hanging in her mouth when she cooks?? And why does she laugh so effing much?? Why are all her friends flamers, to the point of being nauseating.??

    • I’ll try and help with your questions, this is alike an episode of Ask Ina 🙂

      She has two colour blouses in blue for everyday use and black when she is having guests over, I think she once wore white but she’s fooling nobody. She likes to pop the collar up too, maybe she used to be a biker?

      I hadn’t noticed her hair everywhere, but now you mention it… I guess this is America re-enacting Nigella Lawson’s act.

      The laughing will be the vibrating balls she wears below, it was a gift from Jeffrey for their anniversary.

      I’ve never heard the term flamers? What is that? (I fear I am one too if it’s what I think it means but I like to learn new lingo) I am not like them in that they are filthy rich though, maybe I’m just filthy 😉

      Tune in next week when Ina will be dredging the Dead Sea for more salt for her recipes and spitting on poor people at a book signing near you.

  12. Where are you Joe? I saw you stopped by my blog, and it reminded me of how much I miss you. Screw real life! Write Joe!

    • I think I have writers block, I am ok commenting and being on Facebook….but I have little time for anything else. Busier at work when I used to write most so don;t get that chance, and takes me 1 and a half hours to get home then I have to start the dinner and have a tidy up and watch Game of Thrones, so I never have the time.

      I think I lack inspiration, where i used to live I saw many little quirks in such a busy area that sparked ideas, not I am in the suburbs I stand on the balcony having a cigarette and there is nobody around to gain inspiration from. I go into the high street and full of yummy mummy’s and baby buggy convoys, I can hardly walk on the street, and there are only two pubs and they are awful. I need people to give me ideas, we are the source of everything, our quirks, mannerisms, things we say and do, without people to observe I have nothing. Camden Town really was a melting pot of life, it was enjoyable when I lived there. I was there last Thursday for a gig and I went home and fell down some steps on the street and really banged my knee and wrist up, actually it’s a funny story, shall I blog it?

      • You should definitely blog it. So how are you liking the suburbs? I imagine it isn’t as exciting, but sometimes the slow life gives you a chance to really enjoy and appreciate home/family. Of course…it can also be boring as hell. 🙂


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