Ina Garten is known for her longstanding relationships — with her husband Jeffrey, with her friends, with her employees, and with her friends-slash-employees. Her longtime assistant Barbara Libath falls into the latter category. That said, you don't hear much about Barbara! Here are a few things you need to know about Ina's second in command.
1. She's been a part of the Barefoot fam forever.
notes the 68-year-old has been with Ina since 1999 and has never left.
2. She lives near the action.
Barbara's currently living in East Hampton, New York, which makes sense, as that's where Ina's primarily located (that is, when she's not spending time in New York or Paris or — Ina travels a lot).
3. Ina hired her in a bit of a panic.
In the same piece, Ina told the site she told Barbara back in 1999 to "Pick your days and name your salary" because she was so desperate for help with her growing empire. Barbara's experience working with accountants and lawyers in the past made her a prime candidate to help someone whose life would soon include book deals and tours and whatever else was to come.
4. Though she's mostly behind the scenes, she plays a crucial role in Ina's testing process.
Barbara not only often tests recipes with Ina, but she also cooks them herself for Ina as part of her vetting of a recipe. These Barb-heavy days are some of Ina's "favorite days at work."
5. Some of Ina's kitchens are outfitted for Barb's cooking needs.
In 2008, the visited Ina's East Hampton barn, noting "there are two Sub-Zero refrigerators, two Bosch dishwashers, one stainless-steel sink from Waterworks and one Viking range so Garten and her longtime assistant, Barbara Libath, can work together."
6. She and Ina's other assistant start Ina's day off with a morning meeting.
This we know from , the 27-year-old , and former , who was hired by Ina right out of college five years ago. During their meetings, Barbara, Lidey, and Ina discuss the week ahead as well as what they hope to accomplish.
7. Her job is distinctly different from Lidey's, though.
Lidey was primarily to take charge of Ina's social media accounts. Barb doesn't seem to have a hand in that.
8. She knows Ina so, so well.
In fact, that's what also seemed to lead to Lidey's hiring. "Barbara had worked with Ina for so many years, she’d gotten too good at cooking her recipes," explained a few years back. Can you imagine?
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