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Barefoot in the Mountains

Gourmet food celeb to show in Stowe

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Food Network aficionados won't want to miss meeting Ina Garten, a.k.a. the "Barefoot Contessa," when she visits Vermont this Friday, November 17. Garten will be at Harvest Market in Stowe from noon to 2 p.m. signing copies of her fifth cookbook, Barefoot Contessa at Home. There will also be a wine tasting and lots of free samples

According to her website, Garten decided to change careers in 1978 - she was working in the Office of Budget and Management at the White House and wasn't feeling creatively fulfilled. She purchased a gourmet food store in the Hamptons, which was named Barefoot Contessa after a classic Bogart film, and she's gone by that moniker ever since.

After selling the store in 1996, Garten turned to writing cookbooks. In 2002 she launched her first TV show, also called "The Barefoot Contessa." She now has a line of sauces, condiments and baking mixes, made by Stonewall Kitchens of Kittery, Maine.

Why is Garten, whose star power allows her to visit much bigger venues in more densely populated areas, stopping in Stowe? She's a personal friend of Harvest Market owner Donna Carpenter, a former employee of the Barefoot Contessa store. Garten acted as a consultant when Carpenter created the market in 1995.

You can learn more about Garten at www.barefootcontessa.com. For more information about her visit to Stowe, call 253-3800. And because it's cold in Vermont, if you do go to the book signing, it might be nice to bring her a pair of socks.

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