Usually cooks are only surly in the kitchen, but Ina Garten is showing a mean-streak beyond the pots and pans. Known to most of us as the Barefoot Contessa, she's a Food Network staple and go-to chef for elegant and easy recipes. She seems friendly, warm, and outgoing on her show, which is why we're left scratching our heads over the breaking news that she's turned down a chance to make a terminally ill boy's wish come true.
Enzo is a 6-year-old sweetheart suffering with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who happens to love cooking and the Barefoot Contessa. He reached out to the celebrity chef through the Make-A-Wish foundation, requesting an opportunity to cook with her. This is where I get upset: Garten turned him down. And when Make-A-Wish asked again with their "pretty-please" voice, she gave another definitive "no."
Enzo has moved on and chosen another wish (to swim with dolphins), but we haven't. We understand a crazy schedule as much as the next person, but stopping to help others, especially little boys with cancer, seems like a no-brainer to us. We want Enzo to meet the Barefoot Contessa, and we want her to show us the softer side we know she has in her.
We'll even give the Contessa the benefit of the doubt here and say maybe it's just all one big misunderstanding. Maybe something got lost in translation, maybe she didn't know what she was saying "no" to.
So we've decided to start a letter writing campaign to get the Barefoot Contessa to reconsider and grant Enzo's wish after all!
If you agree with us, please copy and paste the letter below, sign it, and send it to Ina's assistant at Sinead@BarefootContessa.com or you can opt for the Contessa's snail mail address: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa, 46 Newtown Lane, East Hampton, NY 11937
And here's the letter:
Dear Ina Garten, a.k.a. the Barefoot Contessa,
I am petitioning for the reversal of a decision you made regarding 6-year-old Enzo. You said that you would not grant him his Make-A-Wish dream to cook with you, and I'd like you to reconsider.
I'm sure you're very busy. Your pot is probably boiling over with requests but I see this as a great opportunity to take pause, to take some irons out of the fire, to fry less fish, and to help a boy live his dream. It's not a surprise he fell in love with you -- we all love your show! I just want to see you show some love back to him.
I implore you to change your mind and cook with Enzo, granting him his wish.
Many thanks for your consideration.
[Here's where you sign your name]
Note: This small gesture on our part could potentially mean so much to Enzo! But shhh ... let's not tell Enzo -- because we would hate for him to be disappointed again!
UPDATE: The Barefoot Contessa ended up agreeing to meet with Enzo after all, saying this was the first she was hearing of it and it was a huge misunderstaning, but Enzo said thanks but no thanks! He decided to swim with dolphins instead.
Will you send this letter along? And share this post so others do the same?
Photo via Stephen Lovekin/Getty