Cold Blooded: Food Network’s Ina Garten Turns Down Make-A-Wish Kid

Movies & TV

It’s rare that we hear about celebrities turning down Make-A-Wish Foundation kids (if it even happens at all) because let’s face it, they know that it will make them look bad. Yet, Ina Garten didn’t care about that, according to Pop Eater (via TMZ), and is now trying to do damage control for breaking a little sick child’s heart.

The popular chef who has a popular show on the Food Network entitled, Barefoot Contessa, turned down a visit with 6-year-old cancer patient Enzo Pereda and it backfired. Not only was the Pereda family extremely disappointed but it also caused some media and industry backlash against Garten who then tried to reschedule to try to clear up the damage that had been done.

Via Pop Eater: “This has been a disaster for Ina,” a foodie insider tells me. “She buried her head in the sand for days hoping the bad publicity would go over, but it didn’t.”

To a casual observer — as well as the scores of new ex-fans — Ina’s change of heart on Monday appeared to be possibly driven more by the desire to nip a festering scandal in the bud, rather than to make a sick little boy’s dream come true.

“She was worried her initial reaction was hurting her business,” my source contends.

Ina had twice blew off meeting Enzo after the wonderful Make-A-Wish Foundation approached her before being shamed into finally contacting his family, independently of the foundation.

“Chefs think they are the new rock stars. And no one has a higher opinion of themselves than Ina,” an insider tells me. “She forgot a long time ago that it is the fans who make you who you are. You can be the most talented chef in the world, but if people don’t like you, they won’t watch your shows or buy your cookbooks.”

Ultimately, Enzo’s family decided to put an end to the drama and move on from Ina. The child’s other wish, which was to swim with dolphins will be honored instead.

This is sad to hear about Ina Garten, she seems so sweet and pleasant on her show. Then again, she is human (*shrugs).