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Jennifer Garner: ‘Anything I do well’ in the kitchen is ‘because of Ina’ Garten

Garner also shared her all-time favorite Barefoot Contessa recipes — including her roast chicken, of course.

Never meet your heroes — unless that hero is Ina Garten, apparently.

On April 14, actor, mother and well-established Ina Garten superfan Jennifer Garner joined Harper’s Bazaar for its “Food Diaries” series. In the video segment, “The Last Thing He Told Me” star takes viewers through her favorite eats, from the meals she cooks to the foods she grabs during a busy day on the go.

“My regular breakfast is coffee and more coffee,” Garner says at the start of the video, adding that she’ll have a black coffee and sometimes an almond milk cappuccino to start the day. “Usually these days, I’ll have one breakfast that I get really fixated on for a few years. Right now it is a full fat yogurt and berries and nuts.”

Garner also talks about her go-to lunch, a fresh arugula salad with veggies fresh from the garden, cheese, nuts and a little rice. She then shares her favorite snacks, which include pre-sliced apples with peanut butter and her company Once Upon a Farm’s blended fruit pouches — and hey, the brand does say they’re suitable for anyone ages 6+ months, after all.

Although Garner, who posts her adventures in the kitchen semi-regularly under the unofficial title "Pretend Cooking Show," the mother of three still says she wouldn’t place herself among the culinary greats.

“A typical dinner would be mom food most nights of the week,” Garner says with a laugh. “I don’t consider myself a good cook or baker, and I do not have the gift of making anything cute, that’s why I always say I’m not a pretty baker. But I do like to cook and bake for people I love, especially for my kids.”

Garner says her cooking has been greatly improved by Garten, offering her friend, inspiration and In-N-Out partner-in-crime the effusive praise she deserves.

“I lean heavily on Barefoot Contessa, I love her recipes,” Garner says, adding that you can count on recipes like Garten’s Honey White Bread, Roast Chicken and Beef Bourguignon — which Garner immortalized on Instagram in December 2021, including a close call where her attempt “almost lit the kitchen on fire.”

“The way that she’s taught me to roast vegetables, the way she makes salmon, I mean anything I do well, it’s because of Ina,” she says.

Garten isn’t the only cook Garner mentions, either. Daniele Uditi, owner and chef behind a popular West Coast group called Pizzana got a shoutout as well.

“I’m a big Pizzana person,” Garner says, adding that she’s a big fan of the Los Angeles location, often going for a Brussels sprout salad on the menu. “I’ve been friends with Daniele forever so I’m so happy for him.”

Garner then shares the unique way she eats pizza. 

“What I love is to take a piece of my kid’s pizza and to take that salad, and I love salad on top of pizza. Do you think that’s weird?” Garner asks. “I put on as much as I possibly can and then I fold it up. That is my favorite.”

After talking about wanting to reduce her wine intake, Garner ends her food diary by saying she has both a sweet tooth and salty tooth. “I have a big everything tooth,” she jokes.

Finally, Garner lists one thing she really dislikes — olives! — and her ultimate likes, which includes homemade chocolate magic shell for topping ice cream, which she recently learned to make from scratch.

“I can’t handle it,” she says, hand to her face in reflective astonishment. “If it’s in the house, I’m having a bowl of ice cream with magic shell.”

We like to imagine Garten is there next to her with a spoon.