The One Dish Ina Garten Never Makes At Home

Ina Garten: The affable celebrity chef's name is a true queen of the kitchen. While it's probably safe to assume she can properly cook any dish she pleases, there's at least one dish she won't cook at home: cassoulet.

Despite her admiration for Julia Child's approach to French cuisine, Garten told Today that there are some things she never cooks at home, specifically name-checking the complex, stewy French dish. But to quote Garten, this doesn't mean "store bought is fine" in this case: Rather, she said she'd only order cassoulet in a restaurant, as it involves a long cooking process, and is made drastically easier in such a setting when there's a whole team of chefs on hand.

For the unfamiliar, cassoulet is a dish hailing from the Languedoc region of southern France, featuring white beans, pork, ham, and Mediterranean staples like garlic, onion, tomato, and Provençal herbs; goose fat, sausage, and duck may also feature in it. An extraordinarily hearty meal for the winter, it's a very slow-cooked dish. It's typically left for hours or even days to simmer, with breaks where it's taken off the heat to cool before being simmered again. It also requires a sizable volume of stock, an ingredient that Garten strongly prefers to make at home instead of leaning on store-bought stuff. In short: It's no quick-fix dinner.

What else won't Ina Garten make at home?

There are a few other items that the Barefoot Contessa tends to avoid making at home — like cassoulet, many of these foods require excessive time and effort. But unlike cassoulet, Garten avoids making these because — you guessed it — store-bought is fine (and in some cases, maybe even better than a homemade product).

Garten won't bother making puff pastry at home, considering that it's an incredibly hard dish to make; the same goes for ketchup in her pantry. She also advocates for packaged peanut butter — while this isn't so complicated to make, it's just that the shelf version can be super high quality for a reasonable price. Ice cream is another big one, with Garten swearing by a few brands like Häagen-Dazs and Ben and Jerry's. Bread is one more to go out and buy yourself: It's tricky to get right at home (and commercial ovens are just better equipped for making it) — although she recommends going for high-grade artisanal options. She's been known to go for store-bought jam, marinara sauce, and mayo in place of homemade versions, but not always.

And what won't the Barefoot Contessa eat?

Garten may not make her own cassoulet or peanut butter, but she loves them. On the other hand, there are a few foodstuffs she won't touch with a ten-foot pole (although to be fair, some of these are ingredients more than recipes).

The big one is cilantro also known as coriander in parts of the world. Like her idol Julia Child, Garten avoids this green herb because it tastes like soap to her — a fairly common affliction that's been linked to individual genetics. She also won't touch pre-grated parmesan cheese. You should just grate it yourself at home for better flavor.

The Barefoot Contessa is also on the record giving a thumbs-down to pumpkin spice lattes (she'd prefer straight-up coffee, thank you very much), as well as pizza topped with pineapple, both relatively uncontroversial opinions. Lastly, the Barefoot Contessa won't chow down on dishes that contain eyeballs, as well as foam.