Here’s What Ina and Jeffrey Ate on Their First Date

Find out which food fueled this couple's relationship.

Ina Garten and Jeffrey GartenKristina Bumphrey/StarPix/REX/Shutterstock

The news of celebrity breakups is rarely shocking. It seems we can’t go a day without hearing about a divorce or scandal, but there is at least one beloved famous couple that has been able to go the distance together. Chef and Food Network star Ina Garten has been married to her husband Jeffry for almost 50 years. The two have always raved about each other in interviews, and Garten even wrote a cookbook called Cooking for Jeffrey. It’s filled with love (and, of course, her smartest cooking tips!).

Find out how food has kept them together for so long.

Dating Disaster

Ina and Jeffrey met at Dartmouth, but only one of them was a student at the time. Ina was still in high school and visiting her older brother when Jeffrey first spotted her outside the library window. He then wrote her a letter, and the two did not have their first date until six months later.

When they met for their first date, 16-year-old Ina boldly took Jeffrey out to a bar, only to be turned away at the door because of her age. “After we were summarily turned away at the door, we drove to a coffeehouse in Westport, Connecticut, and happily had a very good time,” Garten wrote in her cookbook. “So much for impressing the college guy!” So a coffee date really can lead to true love.

And if you’re looking for something to pair with your cuppa (besides true love), try these coffee cakes.

Long Distance Love

While their first date didn’t go as planned, the pair had a connection and kept in touch through letters. When Ina went away to Syracuse for college, she would send packages to Jeffrey with homemade brownies and knitted sweaters. Use these brownie recipes when cooking for your loved ones.

Cooking for two

Now that Ina and Jeffrey have been sharing meals for 50 years, Ina has changed her approach. She recommends always keeping dates simple. Her recipes reflect that as well.

One of Ina’s simplest and most beloved recipes is even credited one of her recipes with leading to marriage! Making her engagement roast chicken for your boyfriend is a guaranteed way to hear that proposal. Even if you are not eying up an engagement ring, you and your friends will love this rosemary orange roasted chicken.

Share the Feast

While Ina loves cooking for Jeffrey, that does not mean that he gets a free ride in the kitchen. “He’s very good about clearing the dishes and stacking them, which makes it much easier for me to clean up afterwards,” Ina told The Kitchn. “He makes really good coffee, too, which I like; when I wake up in the morning, there’s coffee waiting for me—and the newspaper.”

And there you have it! A pan of brownies or a good chicken dinner are all you need to unlock the secret to everlasting love in Ina’s book. You can make your way into your sweetie’s heart with these romantic dinner recipes.

Try these romantic desserts, too!
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Carrie Madormo, RN
Now a freelance health and food writer, Carrie worked as a nurse for over a decade. When she isn't hunched over her laptop with a baby in hand, you will find her cooking her grandmother’s recipes, lacing up her running shoes or sipping coffee in the bathroom to hide from her three young children.