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Entries in Barefoot Contessa (2)

Thursday
Mar312011

'Barefoot' Backfire: Ina Garten Snubbed By Cancer Patient

Michael Bezjian/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- The saga of The Barefoot Contessa and the little boy with cancer appears to have taken a surprising twist.  The six-year-old boy with leukemia who told the Make-A-Wish Foundation he wanted to cook with the star of the Food Network show, Ina Garten, will not meet with her after all, according to TMZ.com.

Garten quickly agreed to meet Enzo Pereda after she received a torrent of bad publicity when word leaked out she was too busy to make time for him.  Enzo's father, Adrian, now tells TMZ the rendezvous is off, adding, "I don't want to put my son through all these emotions.  We're better off just leaving everything the way it is."

Enzo will proceed with the wish he made after Garten turned him down: swimming with dolphins.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar282011

'Barefoot Contessa' Will Meet With Make-A-Wish Kid She Snubbed

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The Barefoot Contessa has time to star in her Food Network show, pen cookbooks, and cook at charity luncheons for her well-to-do fans.

But apparently, her schedule was too packed to meet a six-year-old boy stricken with leukemia who requested a cooking session with her through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She turned him down, twice.

Now, after multiple blogs and news outlets criticized her decision, Ina Garten is inviting Enzo Pereda to the set of The Barefoot Contessa.

"Ina became aware of Enzo's story this weekend and will be calling him today," a spokesperson for Garten said in a statement to ABCNews.com. "She looks forward to inviting him to spend some time with her at the Food Network studios."

"Ina receives approximately 100 requests a month to support charitable causes that deeply affect people's lives," the statement continued. "She contributes both personally and financially on a regular basis to numerous causes, including to Make-A-Wish Foundation. Sadly, it's of course not possible to do them all. Throughout her life, Ina has contributed generously to all kinds of important efforts and she will continue to do so."

In 2010, Make-A-Wish reportedly made its first attempt to arrange a meeting between the celebrity chef and Enzo, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia three years ago. Pereda often watched The Barefoot Contessa while resting in bed.

The boy was turned down last year and again this month. Pereda's mother described their family's ordeal in a recent post on her blog:

"As we were arriving home from the hospital I got word from 'Make A Wish' that it is has been officially confirmed that Ina Garten (the 'Barefoot Contessa' ) has declined Enzo's wish to meet her and cook a meal with her," she wrote.

"I felt terrible for him, he has been unwavering in his desire to meet her for three years and despite many attempts to get him to pick a second wish or change his mind he would not. Last year Ina gave a 'soft no' supposedly because she had a 10-month book tour and they called and asked him what he wanted to do and he said 'I will wait' and he did."

Pereda's mother added that when she told her son the news, he simply replied, "Why doesn't she want to meet me?"

Make-A-Wish backed up Garten. A spokesperson for the foundation told TMZ.com, "From time to time, planning for wishes doesn't turn out as originally envisioned, despite people's best intentions and efforts throughout the wish-granting process." Make-A-Wish said that Garten is a "good friend" of the charity.

Representatives for Make-A-Wish did not immediately respond to ABCNews.com's requests for comment.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio