The Real Reason Ina Garten Finds Julia Child So Inspiring

Fans of Ina Garten likely see similarities between the Barefoot Contessa and Julia Child, as both are known for their ability to make cooking approachable to the home chefs, with television shows and books to steer hopeful cooks in the right direction (via Julia Child Foundation). It's no secret that Garten is a huge admirer of Child, sharing on her website she was moved to make a quick-cook version of Child's Beef Bourguignon in 2021 after watching a documentary on the famed chef. But apart from the typical affinity that so many aspiring chefs and home cooks have for the iconic author who introduced French cuisine to the United States, Garten admires one thing in particular about Child that isn't her food.

In the first episode of the official companion podcast to HBO Max's new series, "Julia," Garten was interviewed not only on her own journey into the culinary world, but also her love of French food and, synonymously, Julia Child. "The thing that she did that is so remarkable, and I admire so much in any field, is that she had, as she said, the 'courage of her convictions,'" Garten explained. "She believed in what she was doing. She got knocked down time and time and time again." It is Child's resiliency that Garten seems to love so much. 

Garten admires the belief and strength Child had

Garten went on to explain the many challenges and obstacles that Child not only faced but successfully overcame, which the Food Network star finds so inspiring. "She had publishers turn away from her book. I'm sure nobody thought anybody would want to watch somebody making an omelet on TV, and yet she believed in it. She really believed in it, and she just kept going," Garten said in the podcast. This faith in herself is an impressive quality that undoubtedly served Child well throughout her career, and it is a distinctive trait that Garten finds in many people she respects.

"And I admire people that, it's what I call 'get the train out of the station', that they start with nothing. The train starts at a dead stand still, and with the courage of their convictions, and their just ... just gutsiness, they just keep going," Garten explained. "And then all of a sudden, you realize the train's on a fast track. The only thing you can do is just run and catch up to it." While Garten clearly loves to see such an ability to work hard in others, there's no doubt that she too shares such strength, as shown in her long career: from the White House to opening a small specialty food store to hosting multiple celebrated cooking shows (via Barefoot Contessa).