Julia Gets Wise with Ina Garten

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On this episode of Wiser Than Me, Julia gets enlightened by 76-year-old cook and author Ina Garten. From working on nuclear policy at the White House and operating her famous specialty food store Barefoot Contessa, to penning best-selling books and hosting hit TV shows – Ina has done it all. Her culinary influence goes beyond technique; it’s about simplicity and connection. Ina shares how aging has changed her taste in food and how she deals with passive-aggressive people.

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mother, Ina Garten

Julia Louis-Dreyfus  00:01

Once in our travels when I was a little girl of about eight, I think when my daddy Tom was a surgeon on the hope hospitalship, we were living in Tunisia, and I remember very vividly that I was so upset with my mom because she said I had to finish my dinner before I had dessert, which made no sense at all. There was another couple there who were working with my dad and the woman in the couple said, well, how about I take you out for lunch? Just you and me, and then you can have dessert first. And so that was very appealing, as you can imagine. And I did, we went to lunch, and I ordered a huge hot fudge sundae, I mean, just huge. And I just gobbled that fucker up. And then when it was time to actually order lunch, well, I couldn’t really order lunch because I was too full. But I assure you of one thing. I did not learn a lesson that day. I’ve always been a true and deep lover of sweets and desserts. In fact, one of my earliest memories is of these peanut butter cookies that my grandma Didi made for me, you know, the kind that have the fork imprint on them. I still have her handwritten index card with a cookie recipe. Well, actually, I think I have it, I don’t know where it is. My mom may have it, I don’t know but I love dessert so much. I don’t know exactly why other than it’s so sweet and yummy but God, why not? It’s always been like that for me. And so you know, when our kids were little providing for them, obviously, this is some instinctual maternal thing, you just get this incredible joy out of your kids finishing a meal that you made for them, right, the most basic kind of nurturing. And I’m also very captive to ritual, as I think we all are, to a certain extent. So I put great store into birthdays and making sure that both of our kids always had memorable birthdays. And so when our first son Henry was little, you know, just a little toddler. I was so looking forward to baking him a birthday cake. And so I asked him what kind of cake he wanted. And I mean, honestly, he was little he was barely even talking. What does he know about cakes, but he was a fanciful kid. So I when I said, what kind of cake to one hand, and he said, orange. And this was clearly the color orange. I don’t think that he had any idea that a cake could even have an orange flavor. This was just about the look of it, you know, think about it, just a giant orange cake. So I said about looking for an orange cake that I could make for him. And I did, I found a bundt cake made with real oranges that I then jerry rigged into a three layer cake. And then I concocted this cream cheese frosting to go with it. And I shouldn’t say this because you know, it’s not very, you know, farm to table of me but I dyed the frosting orange, not a bright orange more sort of of peachy salmon color so that it was aesthetically pleasing. You know, and I covered it in mandarin oranges on top. It was gorgeous. And it was a huge hit with Henry. And I’ve been making that cake on his birthday ever since. And then my younger son Charlie, he requested a key lime pie, so I made him this key lime pie, I ordered the key lime juice from just one place, these guys called the Manhattan key lime juice company and you can look it up, because that’s all they sell for real key lime juice, nothing else, which is just so fabulously old school. I just love it. So I’ve been making that key lime pie for my Charlie for almost 25 years. And the orange cake for Henry going on 30 years, now I use fresh oranges from our own tree. So it’s even better. For me, this is just the quintessence of a gesture of love. It’s such a simple thing, you know, measuring, mixing, baking, but it does take focus and concentration and exactness and even then it doesn’t always go the way you want, you know, there’s some luck and karma mixed into it too but boy, it’s just it’s so meaningful to me to make something sweet and poignantly delicious for the people that I love. And I plan on doing this for the rest of my life, this little thing, or it’s actually kind of a big thing because it gives me such joy and pride. It’s become a sacrament really now to me. So I guess cooking can take on a significance are way beyond just being delicious and nutritious. And that’s why I am so delighted today to get to talk to Ina Garten.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  05:08

Hi, I’m Julia Louis-Dreyfus and this is Wiser Than Me the podcast where I get schooled by women who are wiser than me.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  05:32

Anybody hungry? You’re going to be, because our guest today has been dishing out fabulous recipes and a shit ton of charm for decades. She is the Barefoot Contessa, the queen of comfort cooking. Her signature Bob and blue shirt are as iconic as her roasted chicken. But it’s not just about the food. Her down to earth approach has not only transformed the culinary landscape, but it has also left a real mark on how real people perceive and embrace the art of home cooking. I mean, we eat roasted carrots at our house because of her. And an era full of star chefs she claims not to be a chef but a cook. She stands out not just for her recipes, but for her genuine connection with her audience, which has made her a cultural figure known for her warmth and authenticity. And somehow that makes her food even more scrumptious. One iconic store, two hit TV shows, 13 Best Selling cookbooks, and a 55 year long marriage later, our guest feels universally cherished especially by her husband Jeffrey, but also by me and for me, she really pretty much is up there with fresh salty butter on warm bread. I think it’s cuz she makes every meal feel like a cozy get together with an old friend. Now full disclosure, I’m really just hoping to get invited to a dinner party. And offering their dessert I will I’m so pleased to welcome the James Beard Award winner and the Hamptons most notorious resident, a woman who is so much wiser than me, Ina Garten.


Ina Garten  07:16

I’m so happy to be here.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  07:18

I love you, I love you, I love you. Let’s just say that from the start.


Ina Garten  07:22

I love that the rose carrots are, you think of who you think of roast chicken and roast carrots. Because that’s what I always say it’s about those two things.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  07:30

It is.


Ina Garten  07:31

It’s about simplicity and delicious.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  07:33

Completely 100%. You brought carrots back into my life in a very powerful way. So let me ask you something. Are you comfortable? If we share your real age?


Ina Garten  07:42

I am.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  07:44

And what is your real age?


Ina Garten  07:45

My real age is 76.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  07:47

And how old do you feel, Ina?


Ina Garten  07:50

Mmm hmm. You know what kind of like being 76 I get to do whatever I want to do.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  07:55

Yeah, yeah, no BS?


Ina Garten  07:58

No. I mean, I wouldn’t mind a 25 year old body, but the rest of it, I’ll take the 76.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  08:05

I hear that and love that you’re completely embracing it. I feel the same way about getting older. I mean, there are aspects of being younger, physical aspects, that would be nice. But there’s something very freeing about getting older, right?


Ina Garten  08:19

Well, I feel like when we’re younger, we wonder what will become of us. And when we’re older, we know what’s going to become of us. And it’s turned out really great.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  08:28

Yeah, I completely hear that. And it’s it’s nice to feel it’s like boots that you’ve been wearing a long time. They’re super comfortable. And you’re you feel confident in them.


Ina Garten  08:39

I think when you’re younger, you feel like you have to do everything. Just because you you know, you’re just you’re just building things, and you have to do everything that’s that comes your way. And then when you get older, you start choosing and you choose because it’s fun, not for any other reason, right?


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  08:55

Well, that’s right. And I remember in doing research to talk with you and you were saying that, Jeffrey, when you were making the decision to leave government, the White House, and you weren’t sure what to do. And he said, we’ll just find something that’s fun for you.


Ina Garten  09:11

And I said it for me, particularly because if it’s fun, I want to do it, if it’s not fun. You can’t get me to do it with with a cattle prod.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  09:20

Uh huh. I had a physics teacher when I was in high school, Mr. Coyne, Marty Coyne and he was a wonderful teacher. He would write out the bottom of every paper that you would turn in, he would say have fun at all costs […] Yeah, and obviously that can be misunderstood, but I knew what he meant. And I’ve I’ve certainly applied that in my own life. It’s an incredible lens through which to make decisions.


Ina Garten  09:46

Yeah, exactly.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  09:48

So tell me take me through a typical eating day for you, like, you know, well, I mean, what do you eat today? What have you had to eat?


Ina Garten  09:57

Well, it’s pretty orderly, actually.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  09:59

Yeah, I want to hear.


Ina Garten  10:00

I pretty much have toast and coffee for breakfast. And the toast has to have good French butter on it with shaved sea salt.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  10:09



Ina Garten  10:10

It’s called Beurre de Baratte, B A R A T T E with flaked sea salt. And it’s just so delicious. And so that’s what I have for breakfast and then at exactly 10:30 I have to have a cup of tea with little honey in it, and it’s not 10:29 And it’s not 10:31 at 10:30, my brain goes bing. I have to have some tea.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  10:33



Ina Garten  10:34

And then for lunch, Jeffrey and I always have soup, which is so easy because I can make a lot of soup and leave it in the freezer.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  10:40

What do you have today?


Ina Garten  10:41

I have Italian wedding soup.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  10:43



Ina Garten  10:44

And then for dinner, we either go out to dinner with friends or we ordered dinner from a restaurant. I’ve been testing recipes all day. The last thing I want to do is make dinner.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  10:53

Yeah, I heard that.


Ina Garten  10:54

And I don’t I don’t like to have for dinner what I tested during the day. Unless it’s totally done. And it’s so good. I want Jeffrey to have it.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  11:02



Ina Garten  11:02

But that’s work, and this is dinner.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  11:05

Got it.


Ina Garten  11:06

And I don’t want to eat something and go. I wish it had more rosemary in it, it’s just not fun.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  11:10

Yeah, not fun, there we go with the font again. I want to show you a picture for our listeners. I’m showing a picture of what I made for me and my husband this morning for breakfast. Let me see if you can see it. Oh, wait, shit. Oh god. I don’t know how to get that thing away. Oh, God. I’m trying to work my iPhone. Okay, wait, can you see that?


Ina Garten  11:30

That sounds like Smash poached eggs on toast have smashed eggs on toast.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  11:34

Eggs with the grainy mustard.


Ina Garten  11:36

Isn’t that great?


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  11:37



Ina Garten  11:37

Oh, fabulous. Was that to get you in the mood for today?


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  11:40

Yeah, and also, I was just looking, I was reviewing a bunch of your cookbooks, which of course I own and I was just sort of wanted to get Oh, yeah, are you kidding me? I mean, I could not live without them […] I could not live without them.


Ina Garten  11:53

Thank you.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  11:55

How has your relationship changed to food as you’ve gotten older? You know, I mean, are there tastes that you have now that you didn’t then or things I mean, back in the day, or things you didn’t like when you were younger that you’d love now?


Ina Garten  12:09

I think my style hasn’t changed at all?


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  12:12

Uh huh.


Ina Garten  12:12

I think my it might be my sophistication about things has changed. And I’ve learned about a few things. So, you know, I didn’t know what truffle butter was, and didn’t know what Siracha was there a few things. In the 25 years, I’ve been writing cookbooks that I’ve kind of acquired as part of the repertoire of things that I can use. But I think I still like roast chicken and roasted carrots.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  12:36

I know you can’t be that.


Ina Garten  12:38

It’s just it’s one thing I learned when I had, especially food stores that people eat differently at home than they do in a restaurant. They like really simple food. And that’s true about me too, actually. I like simple food in a restaurant too but it’s people don’t want fancy, you know, via with Morales at home. And so I think that hasn’t changed, what has changed a little bit is my insistence on flavor. That if I go back to a recipe I wrote 20 years ago and needs a little extra something. And I think it’s always something like some acid like lemon juice or red wine vinegar.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  13:15

Vinegar yeah.


Ina Garten  13:16

Or something salty, like Parmesan cheese. Just that little thing at the end that needs to be added. That kind of brings out the flavor. So I’ve gotten better at that.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  13:26

Better at identifying that right? I because I think our taste buds change. You know, I mean, I think that they physically change, don’t ask me how or why that happens.


Ina Garten  13:37

I will maybe, but I didn’t like cilantro when I started and I still don’t like cilantro now. So that’ll never change.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  13:37

Yeah, now listen, you and I are gonna have a huge argument about that, because I love cilantro.


Ina Garten  13:49

You love it put on everything, do you really?


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  13:52

Yeah, I do I make chicken salad the other day and I just throw tons of cilantro in it. Why don’t you like cilantro? By the way?


Ina Garten  13:58

I think it’s physiological. I think what you taste is not what I taste, really.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  14:03

Maybe. Oh yeah.


Ina Garten  14:04

It’s really physiological. It tastes like soap to me. And if you put one one leaf of cilantro on anything, that’s all I taste.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  14:12

Oh my God, that’s incredible.


Ina Garten  14:14

And I like how things are layered you know, like a flavor bubbles up with chocolate and coffee and vanilla. They have to be layered the right way. And cilantro at once there’s a leaf of sausage. Actually, if this is cilantro, at the next table, I can taste.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  14:32

Okay, so I know what not to get you for Christmas a bunch of sometimes I’d like to think believe it or not, this sort of calms me down in my mind I think about what in my kitchen is a must have. You know, like just basic things I have for example, I have a hand electric mixer that my mom gave me. And it says General Electric on it. It’s from like, yeah, like the a early 70s I think and that’s a must have for me or a rubber spatula, you know, with a little tiny curve in it, you know, with the concave center. Are there things like that, that you just tools in the kitchen that you just have a love affair with?


Ina Garten  15:17

I do have a special from when I got married from before I got married actually. Yeah, it was from CalDoor.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  15:25

CalDoor, I do everything in CalDoor, right?


Ina Garten  15:30

Everything ever there.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  15:31

And is it a special it’s still really works well?


Ina Garten  15:34

It works perfectly well and I can’t replace it. I can’t find the same spatula. They’re either huge specialists or tiny specialists. And this is just the right size spatula.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  15:44

I have one of those too. But it’s not from when I before I was married, but I’ve had it for probably 25 years. And I just I love it.


Ina Garten  15:52

This is 55 years. And it’s still good.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  15:57

I thought you were referring to your marriage.


Ina Garten  16:01

This is even better than a spatula?


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  16:08

Yeah, exactly. So moving out of the kitchen for a moment. You’re a gardener. You have a beautiful garden at your house in the Hamptons.


Ina Garten  16:17

Thank you.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  16:18

I’m in Santa Barbara, California, and I planted garlic, which I’ve never planted before.


Ina Garten  16:23

I haven’t either. And the garlic scapes that grow on the top, you can grill them. They’re a really great, yeah, yeah.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  16:31

And I did not know you break apart your clove of garlic and you take each individual club and you plant it. And it’s already poked through the earth. And I just planted it like nine days ago, which is kind of amazing. You know.


Ina Garten  16:45

Like, right, just gardening, teach you patience. I don’t tend to be patient but I like seeing something evolve in the garden.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  16:53

Yes, it teaches me certainly does teach me patience. But also, it’s a thrill because you don’t know, there’s so much. You know, if you go away for a week, and then you come back to look at your garden, things will have changed. And so it’s kind of it always feels like a miracle to me.


Ina Garten  17:13

It does, and also, the structure of the plant is different from the flower itself, when the flower dies, the plant itself is beautiful. And then the seed pods are different from the flower. So yes, it just keeps evolving, it’s just great.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  17:28

Yeah, it’s a reminder of life. And the miracle of life, you know.


Ina Garten  17:34

And the circle.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  17:34

And the circle. Yeah, it’s just gorgeous. Until the bunnies come and eat my roses.


Ina Garten  17:42

They eat your roses?


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  17:44

Yeah, those little motherfuckers.


Ina Garten  17:48

But they’re so adorable.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  17:50

So precious, but I do I do kind of turn into like, Farmer McGregor or Elmer Fudd. I have learned to hate them.


Ina Garten  18:01

And can you garden all year round? Because you’re in Santa Barbara?


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  18:04



Ina Garten  18:05

Oh, that’s great.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  18:05

But believe it or not? Yes, but we do have seasons. So certain things look great right now. And certain things are dormant.


Ina Garten  18:15

And you have rosemary hedges, which we couldn’t even begin to have here right?


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  18:20

I know, and every time my mother visits, she cuts off. I mean, I have rosemary all over the place. It’s like ground cover, and she just goes around cutting it. She’s like she’s a crazy woman. And she puts it into a bag to take home to herself and to all her girlfriends.


Ina Garten  18:35

Like they don’t have rosemary in New York.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  18:36

I know but it feels special. Right coming from this garden.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  18:42

We have to take a break. Now. My conversation with Ina Garten continues in just a bit.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  18:59

So you worked at the White House?


Ina Garten  19:01



Julia Louis-Dreyfus  19:02

And you worked on nuclear policy? Correct?


Ina Garten  19:06

Right, yeah.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  19:07

And what struck me, first of all, that’s extraordinary that this is your story, in and of itself. But I was thinking about science and the overlap of science and cooking.


Ina Garten  19:22

Yeah, I’m totally aware of it.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  19:24



Ina Garten  19:24

It’s not an accident. Exactly.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  19:27

It’s not an accident.


Ina Garten  19:29

I think that if you if you enjoy science, cooking is really another kind of science. And I always think that if you work in science, you end up with nuclear energy or you end up with […] acid or whatever, you know, whatever it is in cooking, you end up with a chocolate cake. So I’ll take the cake and eat it. Yeah, so I think they are very related. And the way I test a recipe is absolutely scientific. I’ll, I’ll make a recipe once, and I’ll analyze what the result is. And then I’ll change one or two things about it, and then make it again and then change one or two things about it make it again. And it’s a very scientific process for me.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  20:11

And you’re taking notes along the way, obviously, right?


Ina Garten  20:14

Yeah, I take notes along the way. And I start out, I think the way you often do in science, with hypothesis, what I want it to be, I, if I’m doing a chocolate cake for I want to know, I know what texture I’m looking for what flavor I’m looking for, what range of flavor, you know, like, what, what things I want to have bubble up. And if I don’t know where I’m going, I’ll never finish. So I have to have something in my head, where I’m going, and, and I keep testing it until I kind of hear that ping that says, that’s what I’m looking for.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  20:51

Do recipes come to you and your I mean, like, do you contact them in your head? Are you like improvising a recipe and then you write it down? And you try it? How does that work?


Ina Garten  21:00

Not really. I will, I’ll start with an idea of something that I might have seen in my travels. I might have seen it at a restaurant. I might have read in a book. But then I’ll read a lot of other people’s views on that thing, whatever it is, if I’m making like an Italian soup, Reba Lita, I just read a lot about Reba Lita. And then I’ll put all the books away, and I’ll start cooking.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  21:26



Ina Garten  21:26

So it’s kind of what my idea of what Riba Lita should be, and how I can make it taste better.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  21:33

So you’re an improviser as well.


Ina Garten  21:35



Julia Louis-Dreyfus  21:35

To a certain extent.


Ina Garten  21:36



Julia Louis-Dreyfus  21:37

My husband’s brother, Jim is a scientist, a very respected scientist at UC Irvine. And I remember he was at our house once and I was cooking. I was I’d love to bake. And I was baking. And somebody was in the kitchen with me. And they were measuring out the flour, but they were measuring it out, but not.


Ina Garten  21:55

Leveling it off.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  21:56

Leveling it off, which I said, no, no, no, no, you must level it off. And I was showing how to do it, actually, for all the ingredients, particularly for baking. And I remember looking at my brother in law, Jimmy, and he had such, what can I say respect and adoration in his face? Because he was a scientist. He was appreciating the attention to.


Ina Garten  22:20

The detail.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  22:21

The detail, yeah, the detail.


Ina Garten  22:23

I follow recipes exactly, even my own. I measure everything. And then because once you’ve spent the time to make sure it’s absolutely perfect, why do you want to start throwing ingredients in there?


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  22:35



Ina Garten  22:35

And wanting to be exactly right.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  22:37

That’s right.


Ina Garten  22:37

Especially as a baker.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  22:39

Yeah, especially the baker, right. Yeah, especially. Talk about entertaining. I mean, did your family entertained growing up?


Ina Garten  22:47

My dad loved to have parties.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  22:49

Oh, he did?


Ina Garten  22:50

My mother hated it, hated it. But it was my mother that had to give the parties. So it was always a struggle. It was always on. I mean, she did parties because he liked his friends. But I think it was, it was never a happy experience. And as soon as I got married, I was like, I remember, being in our first house, it was a garden apartment in North Carolina. And I remember looking around going, I can do anything I want to do now, for the first time. I had nobody criticizing me, nobody telling me what to do. I can do whatever I want. And I just wanted to have parties I had. So I just I just started teaching myself how to cook. It was then it was then literally as soon as I got married.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  23:33

Did you like food before then? Were you a food lover? Or did that really.


Ina Garten  23:37

Cannot really no, and I was never led to cook when I was a kid.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  23:41



Ina Garten  23:42

So I really didn’t. I don’t think I ever connected with it. I didn’t know that it was something that would be fun to do at all. Well, I I mean, I think when I was a kid, I didn’t even know how to do anything. So I thought, you know, I was kind of of the generation when, when I was in college, I thought, well, I’m going to college, and then I’ll get married. And that’s that. It was Jeffrey, who’s like who said to me, you need to figure out what to do with your life. He said, unless you do something, you’re not going to be happy. And I was like, whoa, never, never even occurred to me.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  24:16

Wow, that’s incredible.


Ina Garten  24:18

Isn’t that amazing?


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  24:19

Yes. It’s amazing. And you were 20? Right?


Ina Garten  24:23

I was 20. Yeah. I was 20, so that was really the beginning of trying to figure out what I wanted to do.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  24:29

Yeah, yeah.


Ina Garten  24:31

Totally credit him with that.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  24:32

Yeah, and when you started to entertain at a at a young age, did you feel the same anxiety that your mom had? Are you are you did and you overcame it or you didn’t have it?


Ina Garten  24:44

I gave some pretty bad parties in the beginning.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  24:47

No way.


Ina Garten  24:49

Seriously, I remember one party in North Carolina. I decided to invite everybody for brunch, which I hate. But yeah, I invited everybody for brunch. And I thought well, I’ll make an omelet. I’m sure everybody was like 20 people. And I don’t know now I know how to make an omelet. It’s not easy. I don’t know what the hell I made when I was 20. I was in the kitchen the whole time.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  25:15

And I of course you were.


Ina Garten  25:16

Like a year to, to get over that and, and give parties. I think my mother was ends up had anxiety about the people, as well as the food. I mean, today, I have to say, I’m not a comfortable cook. I don’t if I if I’m giving a dinner party, I’m beside myself with anxiety that it’s not gonna come out right. Even after all this time.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  25:41

Even after all this time.


Ina Garten  25:42

Are you the same way?


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  25:43

I’m afraid so. I I really. I every time I’m if I’m having people over and I’m cooking about an hour before I’m trying to come up with a way to cancel it.


Ina Garten  25:58

That’s really great. I had to go that far but that’s no, I totally.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  26:02

Want out of this. It’s like, that was fun. It was fun to set the table. dessert made earlier. I’d love to make dessert. That’s okay but the meal, oh, fucking forget.


Ina Garten  26:16

That’s one of the things that I am aware of when I’m writing a cookbook is how hard it is to give a dinner party.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  26:22

Yeah, it’s hard.


Ina Garten  26:22

It’s so much work. It’s so difficult. And it’s so much anxiety for and unless you’re. I don’t know, unless you’re a restaurant, Chef. It’s so hard, that’s why I want the rest of history really easy.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  26:36



Ina Garten  26:36

You can just put the carrots on a sheet pan olive oil, salt and pepper. Throw it in the oven. And hope you remember to take them out.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  26:43

Yeah, exactly. There’s a story in our family, my husband’s grandmother. This was in the Deep South, and it was during the Depression. And she was having people over and they were not. They were not well off. They were actually, you know, pretty strapped for cash back in the day and was the depression. And she had people over and she was sitting at the table. Her name was Narcisse and her daughter Charlotte brought in the roast. And all of a sudden Charlotte tripped and the roast fell onto the ground. And Narcisse. Brad’s grandmother without missing a beat. She goes, that’s all right, Charlotte, just pick that up and take it back and get the other one, there was no other one.


Ina Garten  27:31

It was this one washed off. That’s really, that was a really good catch.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  27:38

Yeah, she was that was a really good improvised moment. Really good. And you like you prefer cooking alone, though, right. That’s what I heard you say you prefer to be by yourself cooking?


Ina Garten  27:53

I mean, considering that I do this professionally. I can’t cook and talk at the same time, and I, I do it on TV. And that’s okay. But if I if I know it has to come out perfectly. I mean, Geoffrey’s always, you know, hanging out and talking to me, I’m like Geoffrey I can’t talk. I just have to, because I’ll forget to do something. And especially if I really know the recipe, if it’s something I make a lot. I’ll always forget an ingredient. If I’m not focusing on it. It’s like my attention span isn’t that good. So I have to really concentrate to get it right. Do you feel like you have to do that, too?


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  28:28

Yes. I mean, I do. I have a brother in law, Patrick, with whom I can cook, because we can stand by each other and not talk. But honestly, I get bothered when people around me talking or even offering to help, I’m like.


Ina Garten  28:46

Don’t offer to help just get out of my way. And it’s really inhospitable to say, don’t touch it.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  28:53

Get out of here, go into your cocktail. I’ll be there in a minute.


Ina Garten  28:57

Anyway, it’s fine, you know what, at the end of the day, the only thing that’s really important is to save time with your friends completely. I keep trying to remind myself don’t get obsessed about whether something’s absolutely exactly the way you wanted it to be, as long as everybody’s having a good time. And if they feel like we’re anxious about it, it’s gonna it’ll bomb it’s gonna ruin the evening.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  29:19

Yeah, so it’s gonna ruin the evening. So we gotta get our shit together. That’s what you’re saying.


Ina Garten  29:23

So, on top of being anxious about the meal, we have to look like we’re not anxious, which makes you more anxious. Right, but that’ll be our little secret.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  29:36

That’s our secret. You never heard me ever heard it.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  29:42

Don’t go anywhere more wisdom from Ina Garten after this quick break.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  29:59

You’re known for your look your signature style with the button up shirts and with your beautiful scarves. How would you characterize that style? Comfortable?


Ina Garten  30:12

Yeah, that everything goes in the washing machine. It doesn’t mean that I yeah, I just I love these shirts. I got a shirt from Talbots that I just loved. And I asked if they could make it for me in different fabrics. And they said, sure.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  30:27



Ina Garten  30:27

And so I have them in corduroy for the winter. And I have them in denim, chambray and for the summer. And I know I can put it on and feel comfortable and feel like it looks put together.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  30:38

It does.


Ina Garten  30:39

It does, okay.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  30:40

Yeah, it does. Yes, I have to say, it’s funny because I went back and I started watching the first season of Barefoot.


Ina Garten  30:47

Did you really?


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  30:48



Ina Garten  30:49

Oh my god.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  30:49

And what I so admire about you in your approach. And also your look is that it’s classic, and it’s worked. It’s worked from the get go and you stuck to it. You didn’t try to futz with it, in my view anyway. And and that speaks to a lot of confidence. I think in you, you have confidence in yourself.


Ina Garten  31:13

Thank you.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  31:14

Do you agree with that?


Ina Garten  31:16

I mean, I wouldn’t say I’m confident about everything. But I think professionally, I feel very confident that I know what I want and anything less than that is not okay with me. And I’ve really pushed through a lot of a lot of times where a publisher or a TV producer will disagree with me. And I’m just like, no, this is the way I’m going to do it. And I feel that way but my clothes too. Like, I’m sure that they would like me to change my outfit all the time. I’m just not. That’s not who I am.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  31:48

And where does that where does that come from?


Ina Garten  31:50

I don’t know, I really don’t. Because when I was a kid, I was always criticized for everything. So I think it was just internal. I just, I have this sense of who I am. And that’s who I am. And I’m perfectly comfortable with it. And if you don’t like it, that’s okay.


Ina Garten  32:08

Not your trauma TV.


Ina Garten  32:11

Right, exactly.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  32:12

Right, maybe it was like a really healthy defense.


Ina Garten  32:17

Maybe it was.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  32:18

You know.


Ina Garten  32:18

Yeah, we never know whether it’s in the DNA or or whether it’s developed. But um, I love to listen to everybody’s opinion. And then choose what I want to do. And once I’ve made that decision, I’m good to go. Are you the same way?


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  32:32

Yeah, I think I am. And I have my group of people that I go to for their take on things.


Ina Garten  32:39

Oh, I totally do, yeah.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  32:40

But when I’m sure about something, or I haven’t, as I would say that my instincts are usually pretty, right. And, and the mistakes I’ve made in my life have been not following those instincts sometimes, you know.


Ina Garten  32:58

Isn’t that interesting? Yeah. But I mean, whatever you’re doing, keep doing it. Because you’re totally Beloved. Whatever you do.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  33:08

Thank you so much, thank you so much. And I think, well, you having a healthy marriage helps, right?


Ina Garten  33:15

It does. You know, it’s funny, I was I was just telling somebody recently, people think that being in a marriage is confining in some way. But I find it’s just the opposite. It’s like a big anchor and like a steak in the middle of my life. And it actually gives me more freedom, because I know I will always come back to that steak to that. It’s solid, it’s same supportive, it’s positive.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  33:40

Absolutely, Brad, and I’ve been married, oh, my god, 36 years now. And you know, I could Jesus, I could never have done any of this without him in my life.


Ina Garten  33:53

That’s how I feel to me.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  33:55

Yeah, and has your marriage changed over the many decades you’ve been married?


Ina Garten  34:01

Well, I think it’s different now. When we lived in Washington, it was much more traditional. I mean, it was the 70s. And he worked in the State Department, you work for Kissinger and advance Secretary State Vance. And I worked in OMB. And it was always expected that I was going to cook dinner, it was the kind of roles that we played. And I’ve increasingly disliked those roles. And, and so I think my move to buy a specialty food store and have my own business was really breaking out of those roles, I think so there was a little bit of a time where we had to figure that out. But he just he’s so intuitive, and so respectful of me. And so encouraging me to do what I want to do that it wasn’t a terrible, you know, we worked it out.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  34:53



Ina Garten  34:54

And I think he’s freer and I’m freer. So it’s, it’s now it became more of a partnership rather than, like traditional roles.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  35:03



Ina Garten  35:04

There was a time in our life where he was offered to live in Tokyo for a year. And I had just signed a lease for a store in East Hampton. And we were like, what are we going to do? And he’s he said, you know what, let’s both do what we want to do, because we can’t choose. If we get to do what I want to do, you’ll resent it. And and if, if I don’t get to do that, and I’ve seen Easthampton, then I’ll resent it. So let’s just do it. Let’s do it for a while and see if if anybody’s unhappy? Well, we’ll make a change. And it worked out fine. Actually, after a year, I wrote to him, and I said, I said, you know, I think you need to come home, because it’s not that I’m miserable. I’m just fine, and I think it’s a bad idea. So we worked it out.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  35:52

Yeah, so you you got married pretty young, which was typical back then. But it was not typical, and really, I think was a very bold move as a woman, and particularly as a working woman in the 70s to make the decision to not have kids.


Ina Garten  36:07

No, it wasn’t a struggle at all. I had no interest in having children. None. I just had a terrible childhood. And it was nothing I wanted to recreate. I think now looking back, I might say, I see my friends with their children. And I understand what it could be.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  36:25



Ina Garten  36:26

But I, when I was 20, I didn’t want anything to do with it.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  36:29

And Geoffrey felt the same way?


Ina Garten  36:31

I think Jeffrey would have been great parents, he would have really loved having children. But he wanted me to be happy. And it was okay with him.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  36:39

Nowadays to opt not to have kids, it feels more sort of almost normal. But back then I would think.


Ina Garten  36:46

Then it wasn’t.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  36:47

It then it wasn’t. And there you are being sure of yourself so.


Ina Garten  36:51

Yeah, I don’t know where that came from. I really don’t. But I just I don’t know where that certainty came from. But I was really sure of that.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  36:59

But I it’s the same certainty that you were referring to earlier.


Ina Garten  37:02

I think maybe because when I was a kid, I didn’t have any choices. Somebody else made all my choices.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  37:07

Yeah. Right.


Ina Garten  37:08

So once I had the power, I really used it. Maybe I mean, that’s kind of what you said, which I hadn’t thought about, it’s probably very true.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  37:16

Good for you. I love that.


Ina Garten  37:17

You know, one of the things that’s happened to me are the past years, few years, I’ve been working on a memoir.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  37:22

I know.


Ina Garten  37:23

You do? And what was interesting to me is the threads through I never looked back the threads that are so consistent. And one of the things is taking risks. And what you’re saying is really true is how sure I was along the way of what I wanted at each kind of intersection. It gave me a very different view of myself that I had, which was surprising.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  37:46

What was that characterize that?


Ina Garten  37:48

It gave me more confidence about who I am. I was very surprised the consistency of things through my life. And I didn’t I actually didn’t realize it until I started writing. And it made me feel good.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  38:02

I’m so looking forward to reading it.


Ina Garten  38:04

Oh, thank you. Thank you. I mean, there were things I did in my 20s. And I look back and I think Oh, my God, I was like jumping off a cliff. And I had no no idea what was going to happen, but I just kept doing it over and over again. And anyway, so that was surprising that I started doing it so early.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  38:22

Yeah, right. So you’ve kind of been this person for a long time, right? Wait a minute do you ever do you ever? Like do you get mad? Do you lose your temper? What pisses you off?


Ina Garten  38:38

Pisses me off passive aggressive people. Number one on my list, people who tell you something so that you don’t have the opportunity to to change it. People that lied to you, basically, so that you do what they want you to do. That really makes me mad.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  38:56

Excise all those people from your life. That’s my right.


Ina Garten  39:00



Julia Louis-Dreyfus  39:01

Yes, exactly.


Ina Garten  39:03

I think it’s one of the things that you get to do when you’re older, is that when you’re young, you think your relationships are gonna go on forever. And as you get older, you realize sometimes they don’t. Sometimes you have to choose your your own happiness. And as you said, excised people that are hurting you.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  39:25

Have you had to do that a lot?


Ina Garten  39:26

Not a lot, but I’ve had to do it and it was painful.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  39:29

Uh huh.


Ina Garten  39:30

Because, you know, I just I hate hurting people. But if it’s a relationship that is damaging at some point, you know, you try and fix it. You try and fix it again. You try and fix it again. Sometimes you just can’t. And so you have to move on.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  39:44

Yes, that’s the benefit of getting older. Really, it is it’s a huge benefit.


Ina Garten  39:49

You just have to say this isn’t working right. This is making me unhappy and I don’t deserve to be unhappy so.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  39:56

Get the fuck out of my house. What draws you to other people?


Ina Garten  40:05

I think I like positive energy. I like people who are doing interesting things that are that really show up. They don’t come and expect to be entertained. Do people do that with you? Do they try and tell you things that are funny to make you laugh?


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  40:22

They assume I’m gonna be funny. And I’m not a big let’s not like I’m a big joke teller. And sometimes I’m very quiet because I’m just because sometimes I am. I’m just watching the listening, observing. And I think, and then sometimes people think I’m being funny when I’m not trying to be funny. Do you know what I mean?


Ina Garten  40:44

You sort of do. Yeah, because they expect it.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  40:47

They expect it. So a certain gesture or whatever. It’s, I didn’t, I didn’t mean that to be funny, but I’ll take the laugh.


Ina Garten  40:55

Also, because you play very humorous characters, and you play them so brilliantly. They forget that that is the character you’re playing it’s not necessarily Julia.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  41:04

Oh, my God, yes. And they also I think, particularly with television. Well, now everything is I mean, who knows with with computer, I should say, I mean, everybody’s watching it on all these other devices, but the you know, you’re in their home. I mean, you have that same experience with your show, no doubt. You’re in their home so you they feel relaxed with your presence.


Ina Garten  41:27

And they feel like you’re a friend.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  41:29

Correct, which can be lovely, there is a downside to it, though. I was one time I was when I was giving birth to my first son. And this is kind of a gross story, but we can cut it out if it’s too repulsive. And I was, I was giving birth and I and they, you know, when when you’re in labor, they put that monitor around your tummy. And I was in the bathroom, and I was naked. And I had the thing around my tummy. I was and I was massive, by the way. And I gained like, you know, 50 pounds when I was pregnant. And I was standing there, and my water broke. And all of a sudden a nurse came into the room and I went, Oh, my water broke. Okay, reminding you naked. And she goes, Oh, Elaine. Oh, my God […] Elaine. Isn’t that crazy? Crazy? I know. How do you make friends as you get older? Is that an easy thing to do for you? What is the key to to meeting new people? I guess you probably do in your line of work, do you?


Ina Garten  42:49

You know, I think one of the things as we get older, Jeffrey and I very conscious of we’re going to lose friends. And they’re going to move to Florida or Tuscany or wherever they move. And and it’s important to stay connected to people. So we actually make an effort to meet new people. Just to make sure that we have a group of friends that we really care about.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  43:14

Do you travel with friends?


Ina Garten  43:16

Yes, we do. We actually spend a lot of time in Paris so people come to Paris with us, which is just heaven.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  43:22

Oh, nice.


Ina Garten  43:23

Yeah, so maybe one of these days you and I should go to Paris together. We’d have a good time go to the markets and get chicken and carrots and cook in my Paris kitchen.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  43:32

Exactly, that would be very good.


Ina Garten  43:34

Be really fun.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  43:35

You speak French?


Ina Garten  43:36

Badly enough so I can converse with the grocer and, and the butcher.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  43:41



Ina Garten  43:42

Yeah, I can get around.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  43:43

That’s good.


Ina Garten  43:44

I wouldn’t want to address the UN.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  43:46

Right, exactly I had the opportunity to meet President Macron last year, it was at a thing at the White House, did you? Yeah, because my grandfather was French and flew for the Free French during the war. He was a part of the resistance. Yeah, and so I went over to Macron I said something French? Well, like you badly enough so that the first sentence or two sounds like I know what I’m talking about. And the problem with that of course is that then they assume you have to understand the answer. Yeah. So Macron starts going through [….]  and what do you got said to me, but I just shaking my head wet wet, wet, wet, wet. Oh so anyway, I.


Ina Garten  44:39

I know that feeling yeah. You know where to start? Because you don’t know exactly.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  44:43

Totally, oh my god.


Ina Garten  44:46

My French has gotten me a lot of trouble along the way actually, like when we first have this apartment. I went to the hairdresser. And she said in French which I understood would you like it straight or curly? And I thought, Oh, what the hell? It’s Paris, let’s make it curly. So she gave me this curly hairdo. And, and I wanted to say to her when my husband sees me, he’s gonna say, kiss me quick before my wife gets here. So I said […] And she looked at me and heart absolute horror. And I had no idea what I had said. So that night, I went out with some friends who speak perfect French, and I told them what I said. And he started to laugh. And he said, best and best is a kiss. But Bessie is something else entirely. Yeah, and what you said was, my husband is going to say fuck me quick before my wife gets here. I never went back to that hairdresser.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  45:55

She thought you brassy dame. I like it. I mean, actually, it’s sort of a bet. It’s almost a better expression for me. That’s great. I love it. I’m gonna remember that.


Ina Garten  46:07

So bad French can get you in trouble.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  46:10

Yeah, yes so, right, that’s really that’s really good. We have this thing at the end, I ask you a bunch of like, quick questions, and you can choose to answer them or not, whatever you feel like doing.


Ina Garten  46:21



Julia Louis-Dreyfus  46:25

You go back and tell yourself at 21?


Ina Garten  46:29

Don’t worry about jumping off a cliff. It’ll be fine.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  46:32



Ina Garten  46:32

It’s the only way you get anywhere.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  46:34

Keep jumping.


Ina Garten  46:35

Keep jumping, keep jumping.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  46:37

Is there something you go back and say yes to?


Ina Garten  46:40

No, I think I’ve done everything I wanted to do.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  46:42

You said all the yeses that needed to be said.


Ina Garten  46:44

Yeah, I think so, this is good. I can’t think of anything I said no to that. I wish I had said yes to no.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  46:51

Is there something you want to tell me about aging? I mean, not that we’re that far apart in age. But is there something you would wait, is there some little tidbit that you could tell me about aging?


Ina Garten  47:03

Go for a walk twice a week? It’d be good for you?


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  47:06

Good. I like that.


Ina Garten  47:08

I think small changes over a long period of time makes a difference.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  47:12

What do you mean, small changes?


Ina Garten  47:13

You don’t have to run a marathon.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  47:15

Uh huh.


Ina Garten  47:16

I think if you just take a walk twice a week. You’ll be better off.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  47:19

Yeah, right. What are you looking forward to?


Ina Garten  47:21

Going to Paris? Actually, Jeffrey and I decided, what are we waiting for? And we booked two trips that we’ve never done before.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  47:31

Which ones?


Ina Garten  47:32

We’re going to the Arctic. And we’re going to go into kind of a safari but not gone out into the you know, it with the animals, so we booked to Safari, so that’s going to be fun.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  47:48

That’ll be amazing. That’s a that’s a life changer. I’ve been I’ve done that, and it’s a.


Ina Garten  47:54

What did you see?


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  47:56

Kind of everything.


Ina Garten  47:58

Everything Brown?


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  47:59

Yeah. And I do remember though, at the time speaking of having kids, we went when our kids were younger. I want to say they were like maybe eight and 13. And we went and our first night there and we’re out in the in the plains there. And we were actually in tents. And our leader guy was saying okay, now a couple of rules around camp. There is no running, nobody can run. And I thought to myself, oh my god, what have we done? I had two rambunctious boys, and I have to nap for the next two weeks. They’ve got to sit the hell down. I thought there prayed these kids are praying. The whole time I was in a panic. I mean, I had a good time. But it was still I was like on the edge of my seat the whole time. Well, this has been such a treat to talk with you.


Ina Garten  48:53

And for me to thank you so much, Julia.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  48:56

I’m such an admirer of yours.


Ina Garten  48:58

And I have yours, thank you.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  49:00



Ina Garten  49:01

I hope to see you soon.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  49:02

Me too.


Ina Garten  49:02



Ina Garten  49:03

Thank you. Okay, time to get my mom on this zoom call. I gotta tell her about this conversation.


Ina Garten  49:15

Hi, Mama.


Mother  49:16

Hi, sweet.


Ina Garten  49:17

I just spoke with Ina Garten.


Mother  49:20

What a huge treat and a treasure to have time with her.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  49:25

I know, I know.


Mother  49:27

Why she called the Barefoot Contessa?


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  49:29

Because she worked in the White House and she was writing nuclear policy during the Carter administration. And her husband Jeffrey was also I believe in government and anyway, at a certain point, she became uninterested in that work and she needed something to do and Jeffrey said you need to find something to do that’s fun. And so she found this store in the Hamptons of food specialty store called the Barefoot Contessa and it was for sale, and she bought it. She bought it.


Mother  50:02

Oh, my God, I thought you because it’s such a great name.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  50:06

I know.


Mother  50:06

And you always think, oh my god, this woman is, you know, she said she’s a countess. But but on the other hand, she doesn’t. I mean, she’s not at all like a royal you know she.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  50:15

No not at all except she has. There is something about her that’s quite, I think rarefied in terms of her approach to food and making it accessible for everybody. That is unusual what she’s done. But something I found really interesting, Mommy is that she got married when she was 20. She’s been married for 55 years. And she made a decision when she got married, that she was not going to have kids. And this was based on the fact that she had a very difficult childhood, she did not have a lot of joy as a child. She didn’t have much agency, and she couldn’t really make decisions for herself. And so she made the choice not to have kids, which really strikes me as something to remark on because nowadays to make that decision is one thing, but to make that decision in the late 60s, early 70s is extraordinary, right?


Mother  51:14



Julia Louis-Dreyfus  51:15

I mean, like for you, mom, but in that period of time when you were having kids, did it ever occur to you not to have kids?


Mother  51:23

Never, never. It’s almost like did the sun come up, you had kids. I mean, it was just like that. I mean, it never occurred to me. But I remember one couple that we knew who didn’t have children. And what they did, they got into rose gardening. And so they they, they spent a tremendous amount of time on the Rose Garden, and studying roses and in all kinds of things. So they they plowed themselves into the world in a certain way. And I was thought to myself, that’s that’s their their compensation. And actually, when you girls all left home, that’s when I started really gardening with a passion. And thinking that it’s a there’s something maternal in the nurturing in nature. That is a compensation for having children to take care of.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  52:11

Mm hmm.


Mother  52:12

But for her, she found a way to be a mother through food and through nurturing the world. And it’s that’s a great gift. Right, right, yeah.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  52:23

Yeah, it’s exciting to know where she’s came from and how she’s taken what was a hardship and turned it into an enormous strength. Hey, speaking of recipes, there’s one food that Ina Garten hates, and it’s cilantro.


Mother  52:37

Some people hate cilantro. I would say like, like 12% of America, hate cilantro, explain that to me.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  52:46

You explain to me where you got that statistic from?


Mother  52:48

Well, I made it up. But you know what I’m saying about it? Is that, that, you know, you have to check with people about cilantro because some people hate it.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  52:58

Yeah, that’s right. And she says that if there’s even a tiny leaf, it really, really bothers her. And I personally cannot get enough cilantro.


Mother  53:07

Same, same for me. But people absolutely say I can’t eat it.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  53:11

When we have Ina and Jeffrey over. We won’t be making things with cilantro.


Mother  53:16

We will pretend it doesn’t exist.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  53:18

Oh, well, wait a minute. Actually, we just looked this up. And there’s actually a genetic reason that some people think cilantro tastes like soap. These particular people have a variation in a group of we just look this up olfactory receptor genes, that allows them to strongly perceive the soapy flavored aldehydes in cilantro leaves. So Ina must have that gene. And it turns out mom that it’s present in about four to 14% of the US population. So your made up bullshit statistic was spot on.


Mother  53:59

Okay, where did I come up with 12% that’s history.


Mother  54:00

I don’t know you pulled that out of your ass and you are right, okay.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  54:07



Mother  54:08

Love you, honey.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  54:10

Love you mommy. I’ll see you tomorrow, okay.


Mother  54:13

Yeah, exactly, travel safely.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus  54:17

Goodbye, love you.


CREDITS  54:28

There’s more Wiser Than Me with Lemonada Premium subscribers get exclusive access to bonus content from each episode of the show. Subscribe now in Apple podcasts. Make sure you’re following Wiser Than Me on social media. We’re on Instagram and Tiktok at @Wiser ThanMe, and we’re on Facebook at Wiser Than Me podcast. Wiser Than Me is a production of Lemonada Media. Created and hosted by me Julia Louie Dreyfus. This show is produced by Kryssy Pease, Jamela Zarha Williams, Alex McOwen, and Hoja Lopez. Brad Hall is a consulting producer, Rachel Neil is VP of new content and our SVP of weekly content and production is Steve Nelson. Executive Producers are Paula Kaplan, Stephanie Wittels Wachs, Jessica Cordova Kramer, and me. The show is mixed by Johnny Vince Evans with engineering help from James Sparber. And our music was written by Henry Hall, who you can also find on Spotify or wherever you listen to your music. Special thanks to Will Schlegel, and of course, my mother Judith Bowles. Follow Wiser Than Me wherever you get your podcasts. And if there’s a wise old lady in your life, listen up.

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