Tuesday, November 16, 2010
A few posts back I mentioned that I was going to a book signing with Ina Garten, thee Barefoot Contessa at Willams Sonoma South Coast Plaza! She just released a new cook book "How Easy Is That?". If you watch her show you know that's a common catch phrase she uses. The signing was the day after my birthday and I looking forward to the signing more. I heard about it from my new and fabulous friend Michelle. She told me it was on Friday the 12th and I thrilled because I didn't have school that day. A while back I found out about a Giada signing, but couldn't justify taking a day off of work for it. So thank you furlough days.
Michelle had the inside scoop on book signings since this wasn't her first one. She works at Crate and Barrel and they hosted the previously mentioned Giada book signing. She also went to Williams Sonoma to check out the Bobby Flay signing, just to get a peek at him. That's when she saw how out of control the lines were! Michelle suggested we get there at 8 am, when the store opened to hand out the pre-ordered books. That was a great plan! We knew we were going to have to wait in line until the signing started at noon, but at least we'd get to wait inside the mall. We were in the first line, maybe about 40 people back. We sat on the floor next to Saks Fifth Ave, made friends with the people around us, ate the pumpkin treats the Williams Sonoma workers kept bringing around, and read through all the cookbooks we had purchased. We had such a great time talking all things Ina. My Mom kept saying she hoped Jeffrey, Ina's husband, was going to be there! No such luck. Then we dared her to ask Ina why Jeffrey didn't come. Good times! While we were waiting in side, having a fabulous time, the rest of the last comers were waiting outside in a line that went past two department stores and around the corner. And this is Orange County, is was kind of hot out there! Rumor had it though, if you were in line by 2 pm she would sign your book. The signing was supposed to be from noon to two.
The signing started at 11:45 am, Ina was very prompt. The line moved fast. You could take pictures but she wasn't going to pose for any. As we got closer I snapped a few of her signing other peoples books. When it was your turn they had workers taking your camera and would get a picture of her signing your book. I turned around when she took mine, but I have like a million chins in that picture, so I'm not posting it! But we got a few others. We all were deciding what we would say to her, I ended up just telling her thanks for coming and my mom was like, "we love you!" She was friendly, but didn't have time to chat. I had her sign two books, then my mom had her sign one, then Brittany came and had her sign one. The workers moved us right along after three books were signed and we kind of held up the line trying to figure out what happened to the fourth. Ina tapped the table and said laughing, "Come on ladies, pay attention." That's quite typical of us, to hold up a line of 2,000 people. Ina talked just like she does on her show. She looked really pretty, much better than on TV, and she looked smaller too. While in line we were talking about what color of shirt she would be wearing. She had a blue button up on all three of the different cookbooks we had. At the signing she wore a black button up with black pants.
I'm kind of amazed I have so much to say about a five second encounter with Ina, but it was so fun. I would do it again in a heartbeat. However, I wouldn't wait in a four hour line for just anyone. Ina is special. So classy. While in line we read an article in the Costco Connection magazine about her. In it she talks about how she gets asked to expand her "brand" beyond food to accessories, furniture even clothes. She said, "I wear the same thing everyday, you don't want me to do your line of clothing." But that's what I love about Ina, she's all about the food, keeping it real, but sophisticated, and getting back to the basics.