Ina Garten's Dream Dinner Party Guests

The foodie equivalent of the viral "dream blunt rotation" meme is "dream dinner party guests" — and television personality Ina Garten knows exactly who's on her list. At the 20th New Yorker Festival at the New York Society for Ethical Culture in 2019, Us Weekly asked Garten who she would choose to host at her ultimate dinner party, including anybody living or passed. The first person Garten named was her husband Jeffrey (cute), then "Julia Child, definitely, Taylor Swift, and Michelle Obama."

It's no wonder that Julia Child made top billing considering Garten named the chef as her inspiration to enter the culinary field in the first place. In the first-ever episode of the "Dishing on Julia" podcast in 2022, Garten raved, "I very often say that people who are successful aren't successful because they were more talented or because they had great luck. It's because when they meet a barrier, they just push right through it, and they keep going and going and going," via Food & Wine. "Julia's a remarkable example of that." Garten followed this brand of self-taught culinary prowess as an example of its own: She started by reading both volumes of Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and the rest is history.

Aside from the late great chef, unlike most folks' dream dinner party guests (Anthony Bourdain, Lou Reed, and Charles Bukowski, for instance...), Garten has the rare privilege of the feeling being very mutual with the rest of her chosen group.

A table full of friends

Garten has actually already enjoyed the company of Michelle Obama as a dinner party guest. They sat down for a meal together and filmed a "Barefoot Contessa" episode at The White House in 2016. In the episode, Garten told Obama, "I know it's going to be wonderful for you. You're going to do something extraordinary going forward," to which the now-former First Lady playfully replied, "Yeah, I'm going to come and eat at your house. So don't be surprised" (via Time).

Perhaps surprisingly, Garten and Taylor Swift share a years-long friendship. In her 2019 "30 Things I Learned Before Turning 30" interview with Elle, Swift wrote, "I've always cooked a LOT, but I found three recipes I know I'll be making at dinner parties for life." The first one she names is Garten's Real Meatballs and Spaghetti — with one slight alteration: "I just use packaged bread crumbs and only ground beef for meat." Then again, in 2022, Swift raved about Garten as her culinary idol in an interview with Food Network Magazine: "Watching Ina prepare a meal changed my perspective on cooking and reframed it as something relaxing. She made cooking feel like self-care. Ever since, cooking has been my escape from stress and one of the only ways I can truly calm myself on a rough day." Indeed, Garten's 4 million Instagram followers would likely agree, staying tuned as she shares her wealth of tips for making cooking accessible and fun.