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The Barefoot Contessa star opens up about her career and relationship with her husband Jeffrey

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October 07, 2016 07:05 AM

When it comes to marriage, Ina Garten and her husband of nearly 48 years (!) Jeffrey seem to have things figured out.

“It’s one of the great joys of my life to take care of my husband, and he takes care of me, too,” the Barefoot Contessa — who has an upcoming cookbook dedicated to him titled Cooking for Jeffrey — told The Washington Post. “I am absolutely the center of his life,” she continued, adding, “He’s also been the brains behind everything I’ve done. He’s invested, literally. He just believes in me, which is extraordinary. And he makes good coffee.”

In the realm of her career, though, Garten stands on her own two feet. “The best example I can give to other women is to be independent and have a good business and be able to take care of yourself.”

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That doesn’t mean she shuns traditional gender roles. On whether cooking for your husband has an anti-feminist element, Garten tells the newspaper: “There was a generation of women who wanted to be like men — to act like men and have jobs like men. I never did; I wanted to act like me. I love cooking, I love feminine pursuits. I just want to do them in my own way.”

The Food Network star, 68, who switched her career path at age 30, says the change came because she wanted to do something that was more exciting and something that she was passionate about.

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“I thought at the time, ‘Well, this is what people do when they grow up.’ And then when I hit 30, I thought, ‘No, it’s not — this is what other people do when they grow up,'” she said.

Instead of settling on a life she was bored with, she took her own advice and decided to “just go for it.”

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“Everyone says, ‘It’s so risky,’ but the only risk really is not doing it. It doesn’t mean that I finished it all in one step, but you have to think, if it doesn’t go well, I’ll find something else. Fortunately, for me, it went really well.”

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