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Ina Garten Quotes

Ina Rosenberg Garten

Ina Garten quotes: on changing careers, hosting the perfect dinner party, what she’d like to hear God say when she enters Heaven, and more.

“Fun is the most important.  If you do stuff for money, it never works out.  Letting yourself have fun with whatever you do should be a priority.”

“Be the fun you wish to see in the world.”

“You can’t figure out what you want to do from the sidelines.  You need to jump into the pond and splash around to see what the water feels like.  You might like that pond or it might lead to another pond, but you need to figure it out in the pond.”

“It is essential to get bored before you figure out what excites you.  Fear is a ‘pond’ and you have to jump into the pond even though you’re scared.  Working through fear is a good thing.  You want that nervous energy in your work.”

“I think people stand at the side of the pond talking about the pond.  Is it hot?  Is it cold?  Is it deep?  Are there murky things under there?  I think you have to jump in.“

“If it’s not scary, everyone else would do it.”

“Success is part luck, and part working really hard.  To manage keeping on top of everything, work really hard and enjoy yourself.  It’s really not so complicated.”

“The criteria for hiring someone is to make sure the person is motivated and that they’re happy.  You can teach someone a new aspect of their job, but you can’t teach them how to have a brighter outlook on life.  You want to work with happy people.”

“Don’t demand attention.  Give it.  If you take care of somebody and don’t worry about whether they’re gonna take care of you, they will.  Rather than demanding attention, by giving attention, you get attention back.  It’s actually simpler than you think.”

“Little gestures go a long way.”

“Surround yourself with people you love.  A friend of mine once said to me, ‘We’ve got it all wrong about love.  That it’s not about surrounding yourself with people that love you, it’s about surrounding yourself with people that you feel love for.’  And I think that’s really important to keep in mind.  If you take care of people and you love them, they’ll show up.”

“When you’re young, you say ‘yes’ to everything.  At some point, you start making choices.  I accepted every opportunity that came my way because I wasn’t sure what would be most interesting or successful.  Once I got to know myself and the business better, I started to be more strategic.”

“My brand is about fun and community, and dog food doesn’t fit into that right now.  Being decisive about what to turn down frees me up to spend time on the projects I value the most.”

“I love what I do, and I’m just so happy that I get to do it, and everything isn’t a goal, it’s just a process, and if something comes along the way that looks interesting to me, maybe I’ll do it, but for right now I love what I’m doing and I’ve got no room for anything else.”

“My mother would never let me in the kitchen.  I always wanted to cook, but I was never allowed to.  Her view of the world was, ‘Cooking is my job, and studying is your job.’  I think, in retrospect, she didn’t like the chaos.  She was very orderly.  It had to be her way.”

“Food is not about impressing people.  It’s about making them feel comfortable.”

“I love to take something ordinary and make it really special.”

“My desire to cook comes from taking care of people.  I love the process of giving people something that they enjoy, so I think that’s really what makes me happy.”

“It doesn’t really matter what the occasion is, big or small, but it’s the connections that we have with people we love that nourish our souls.  Entertaining isn’t just about making dinner parties.  It’s about celebrating those connections and I think that’s what makes life worth living.”

“One of the great gifts that you can give people is to cook for them.  Cooking is one of the great gifts you can give to those you love.”

“The most important thing for having a party is that the hostess is having fun.”

“I try to greet my friends with a drink in my hand, a warm smile on my face, and great music in the background, because that’s what gets a dinner party off to a fun start.”

“I time everything.  I’m a scientist at heart.”

“You can be miserable before you have a cookie, and you can be miserable after you eat a cookie, but you can’t be miserable while you are eating a cookie.  Most of life’s problems can be solved with a good cookie.”

“I achieved so much success bringing the art of cooking to people, creating a brand that people not only admire but also engage with, and, ‘If you think it’s easy to make something simple—well, it’s not.'”

“Telling people why a marriage works might be simple; actually living that and choosing that day in and day out isn’t always so easy.”

“The key to a successful marriage is that each person feels they’re the most important person in the other’s life.  It’s that simple.”

“You can teach people about cheese, but you can’t teach them to be happy.”

“You don’t have to be a child-free couple with luck on your side to be happy; you just have to work hard at letting each other see why it is you chose this life together.”

“My extravagance is my garden.  It’s the first thing I look at every morning when I wake up.  It gives me so much pleasure.”

“They say that gardens look better when they are created by loving gardeners rather than by landscapers, because the garden is more tended to and cared for.  The same thing goes for cooking.  I only cook for people I love.”

“I worked for the Office Of Management and Budget in The White House on nuclear energy policy.  But I decided it would be much more fun to have a specialty food store, so I left Washington D.C. and moved to the Hamptons.  And how glad I am that I did!”

“I realized that although I was working on projects that were $20 billion in size, nothing had happened in four years.  I needed to run something that I owned and that I could make my own decisions with.  Plus, I needed immediate feedback.  I had no idea at the time how to run a business or how to buy food wholesale, but I knew this was for me.”

“I just took a chance.  I’d never even been at the Hamptons, and I had never had a business.  I’d never had an employee.  I’d never even been a waiter in a restaurant.  I had never done any of it.  And to think that I wouldn’t have done this—I can’t imagine.  To say I’m lucky is an understatement.”

“I think that I had a very clear vision when I started writing cookbooks what I wanted it to be, and that you would open the book, that you would look at the photograph and go, ‘That looks delicious.’  And then you would look at the recipe and say, ‘I can actually make that and I can make it with ingredients I can find in the grocery store.'”

“I went from burned-out government analyst to best-selling author and Food Network star.  I overcame a career dead end by taking time to rest and then diving head-on into the next chapter.  Lesson: find your ‘primary delight’ and learn how to leverage your brand on different platforms.”

“When I thought my professional career was over, it hadn’t even started yet.”

“It’s really quite overwhelming, and that just encourages me to do it more.”

“I worry that if I don’t challenge myself professionally I’ll lie on the sofa and watch old episodes of Law & Order all day.”

“I don’t think anybody has ever been made happy by being famous.  I love doing what I do.  I’m really happy that people appreciate it, but being well-known doesn’t really mean anything to me.  When I’m walking down the street and somebody says, ‘I love your cookbook!’ that’s really nice.  When you’re young you think, ‘If only I were famous I’d be happy,’ but I don’t think it’s a goal worth striving for.”

“All my life I dreamed of an apartment in Paris where I could cook, and now I have one, on the Left Bank.”

“I get up every day, do the best that I can do, and go home and have a good time.”

“I can’t believe I get to cook for a living; it just doesn’t get any better than this.  And, although I wouldn’t mind being 40 again, I know that all of this comes from having had all the experiences I’ve had, so even being in my 50s is okay with me.”

“When I arrive at the pearly gates, I hope God says to me, ‘We’ve reserved the penthouse suite for you and your friends are all waiting.’  I don’t have much interest in meeting famous people; I just want to be surrounded by the smart, funny, people that I love.”

“Don’t worry so much.  It’ll be all right.  It’ll all turn out okay.”

“Be thankful for what you have you’ll end up having more.  If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

“Stay safe and have a very good time, and don’t forget the cocktails.”

Related: Paula Deen quotes.

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