Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook – Summary and Reviews

Since the debut of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook in 1999, the author and TV host has practically built a mini library full of elegant dishes and helpful cooking tips. The most recent addition was Cook Like a Pro – an extension of her Food Network series of the same name – which was released on October 23, 2018. 

Now, Garten’s latest book, Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, has come out a lot sooner than expected.

In March, the TV host and author announced that her next book would drop October 27, filled with comfort dishes and ‘seriously satisfying recipes that you’ll want to make for yourself and the people you love.’ But on May 5, Garten revealed that the publication date of her book was moved up three weeks to October 6. 

In an Instagram post, Garten writes, “GOOD NEWS!! Because we all need it ASAP, we decided to move up the publication date of my new book MODERN COMFORT FOOD to October 6th! You can pre-order it online, at bookstores everywhere, or at BarefootContessa.com. Scroll through for a sneak peek of what’s inside – everything from Creamy Tomato Bisque to Boston Cream Pie!”

Considering how much has had to be delayed or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic – from events to restaurant openings, Garten releasing her book earlier than planned is a very welcome change of pace. 

The recipes found in Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook are just as hearty and comforting as you would expect from the title – smashed hamburgers with caramelized onions, cheesy chicken enchiladas, cheddar and chutney grilled cheese, and hash browns made in a waffle iron, just to name a few. Plus, there’s plenty of room for dessert as well, including Boston cream pie, black and white cookies, and banana rum trifle among others. 

Aside from her book, Garten has also shared plenty of helpful cooking advice on her Instagram for those staying at home and social distancing during this pandemic. She shares tips for freezing food, recipes that you can make with pantry staples, and home cocktail recipes. 

Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook will be Ina Garten’s 12th cookbook. She’s published eleven other popular recipe collections, including Cooking for Jeffrey, written for her husband, Jeffrey; Barefoot Contessa at Home; Barefoot Contessa Parties!; and her most recent cookbook, Cook Like a Pro.


Ina Garten is one of America’s most beloved culinary icons. Her Barefoot Contessa cookery programs are screened each day on UK TVFood. Ina also writes a column on entertaining for America’s Home Beautiful magazine and lives in East Hampton with her husband, Jeffrey.

Official Book Summary

A collection of all-new soul-satisfying dishes from America’s favorite home cook!

In Modern Comfort Food, Ina Garten shares 85 new recipes that will feed your deepest cravings. Many of these dishes are inspired by childhood favorites—but with the volume turned way up, such as Cheddar and Chutney Grilled Cheese sandwiches (the perfect match for Ina’s Creamy Tomato Bisque), Smashed Hamburgers with Caramelized Onions, and the crispiest hash browns that are actually made in a waffle iron!

There are few things more comforting than gathering for a meal with the ones you love, especially when dishes like Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas are at the center of the table. Old-fashioned crowd pleasers like Roasted Sausages, Peppers, and Onions are even more delicious and streamlined for quick cleanup. For dessert? You’ll find the best Boston Cream Pie, Banana Rum Trifle, and Black and White Cookies you’ll ever make. Home cooks can always count on Ina’s dependable, easy-to-follow instructions, with lots of side notes for cooking and entertaining—it’s like having Ina right there beside you, helping you all the way.

From cocktails to dessert, from special weekend breakfasts to quick weeknight dinners, you’ll find yourself making these cozy and delicious recipes over and over again.

Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook Book Reviews

Here are some reviews from readers.

“Twelve cookbooks in, Ina Garten’s recipes still have that wow factor. To wit, I’ve bookmarked more than half the book with Post-Its for future culinary adventures.

With what couldn’t be a more timely release for the season we’re in (it’s the first book I’ve read that references the pandemic), Ina is serving up exactly what we all need — comfort food.

Of course, this isn’t any ol’ comfort food. My Mom may have made pot roast regular, but never with red wine and cognac. We had our fair share of nachos on Game Day, too, but none were topped with jumbo lump crab. This book is exactly what we’d expect for Ina and yet it holds a few surprises. I never expected a chicken enchilada recipe from her (but oh how I can’t wait to try them). Ditto for garlic bread, vanilla cold brew coffee, or a new take on a classic tomato bisque.

Whether you’re a beginner or someone who whips multiple meals a day, Ina’s helpful tips are the difference between a decent result and something that’s sublime. And despite decades of experience, it was fun hearing that she’s been struggling to perfect a recipe that’s been in process for years — Boston Cream Pie. If it took her this long to sign off on it, you know it’s going to be good. Those personal stories, not to mention a wide array of cuisine with influences from all around the world, are what make Modern Comfort Food such a delight.” – Christa 

“I am a long time fan of Ina Garten and her recipes. However, when you read a lot of her books and watch her show religiously, you do find there is some overlap of her recipes. There is some of that overlap present here but for the most part these recipes are fresh, well thought out and perfected to bring comfort to you home, something we all need right now.

As soon as I received the book, I quickly surveyed my fridge and was thrilled I had provisions to make several of her recipes right away.

Her Emily’s English Roasted Potatoes is a genius take on the regular roast potatoes that really satisfy. Her smashed eggs on toast could be basic but the elevation of fresh dill and quality mustard take it to another level.

I love her thoughts on the pandemic and how it shapes our approach to food.

All recipes have photos and are all explained well. There are many simple recipes and I would say a handful that have multiple steps. Nothing ever seems out of reach when Ina breaks down a recipe.

This book is what we all need this fall, to cook our way and hopefully close out this pandemic chapter of our lives.” – Lap

Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa...

Ina Garten

Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa…
$21.00
  • Hardcover Book
  • Garten, Ina (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages – 10/06/2020 (Publication Date) – Clarkson Potter (Publisher)

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