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Ina Garten Super Fan Is Cooking His Way Through All Her Recipes à la ‘Julie and Julia’

Plus, restaurants are fighting to keep dining rooms open as COVID-19 rates go up again, and more news to start your day

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Ina Garten holding up a glass to cheers.
The Barefoot Contessa herself.
Photo by: Mike Smith/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Trent & Ina is the Barefoot Contessa version of Julie & Julia

In Julie & Julia, a blogger set out to cook every recipe from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Now, there’s another home cook seeking to do the same with Ina Garten’s recipes, and he’s already tackled more than 1,000 of her dishes.

Trent Pheifer, a nonprofit worker who lives in New York, has been running his project “Store Bought Is Fine” since October 10, 2015. On his blog and an Instagram account with more than 31,000 followers, he documents his recreations of the Barefoot Contessa’s dishes, desserts, and drinks (along with the occasional Photoshop of himself next to Garten).

Pheifer gives credit to this project for sharpening his culinary and photography skills. He has also managed to catch the eye of Garten herself; as he told Town & Country last year, he once ran into the Contessa and her husband Jeffrey in Paris, and Garten already knew who he was.

At the rate that he’s cooking — four to five recipes a week — Pheifer will have worked his way through every single Garten creation by this time next year. “The end of this will be bittersweet. It’s been five years of my life. But I’m excited for the next chapter,” he tells Food52.

And in other news…

  • Delivery orders for food and booze were up during the election. [USA Today]
  • Also up: cookie and chocolate sales throughout the first six months of the pandemic. [Food Dive]
  • Following the drug company Pfizer’s announcement that its COVID-19 vaccine has been 90% effective in early trials, stocks surged across several industries, including restaurants. [Restaurant Business]
  • Restaurant chains defend their decisions to keep dining rooms open despite the current surge in coronavirus cases. [WSJ]
  • Influential beer importer the Shelton Brothers is going out of business, perhaps a victim of both craft beer’s success and the pandemic. [Food & Wine]
  • Automats could be making a comeback, thanks to the pandemic. [WSJ]
  • Barcelona is adding 11 bodegas — bars that offer food as well as drinks right from the barrel — to its list of protected cultural heritage sites. [The Guardian]
  • The confectionery companies seeking to compete with the dominance of Cadbury milk chocolate in India and among its diaspora. [NYT]
  • Remembering Pok Pok. [Wilamette Week]
  • Luosifen, a snail-based rice noodle soup, is the latest food obsession in China. [CNN]
  • Hot Ones x Reebok collab dropping soon. [First We Feast]

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