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Celeb Chef -- Too Busy for 'Make-A-Wish' Kid

3/25/2011 3:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The Make-a-Wish Foundation had to break some bad news to a 6-year-old cancer patient this week ... when Food Network star Ina Garten informed them she was too busy to cook a meal with the boy ... TMZ has learned.

Ina Garten Enzo

A family member involved with the Make-A-Wish foundation tells us ... a little boy named Enzo was approached by the organization after he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia three years ago.

Enzo told Make-A-Wish ... he really wanted to cook with the "Barefoot Contessa" host because he would often watch the show with his mother while resting in bed.

M.A.W. approached Garten with the wish last year ... but at the time, she was unable to meet with Enzo due to a book tour.  The organization urged Enzo to pick another wish, but he told them he wanted to wait until she becomes available.

We're told the organization went back to Ina this year ... but her team responded with a "definite no" ... once again, citing scheduling conflicts. 

A member of Enzo's family says the 6-year-old is heartbroken ... and asked parents, "Why doesn't she want to meet me?"

When we called Make-A-Wish for comment on this story, they told us, "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."

They noted that Ina is a "good friend" of the foundation.

A rep for Garten tells us, "Despite her demanding schedule, [Ina] participates and helps as many organizations as she can throughout the year, helping children and adults like Enzo with life threatening and compromising illnesses.

The rep continues, "Unfortunately, as much as she would like to, it's absolutely impossible for her to grant every request she receives."

We're told Enzo has now made a new wish -- he wants to swim with dolphins ... and he's already taking lessons to make his dream come true.


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#136- stop making excuses for this woman... The child is dying, this is not about how much $$$$$ she gives to charity. I doubt she gets requests from many/any DYING children to meet her- so this is a lame excuse. ANYONE- who could turn away a dying child, is pathetic in my book. Not like she/we have lists of dying children who request to meet you/us- so any of us could take an hour to do this.

Posted at 5:54 AM on Mar 25, 2011 by SUN

EXACTLY! Thank you for the way you put this in it's proper perspective. How many dying kids this age actually make THIS their wish & she can't honor it? Shame on her. See her on my tv in the future?.....CLICK! Done with this woman.

1309 days ago


She can't possible be that busy! She can't set aside an hour to cook a meal, meet and greet this child? That is asinine!

1309 days ago


How come she always wears the same shirts but in different colors?

1309 days ago


awwwww I feel sorry for the little kid :(

1309 days ago


she's a total bitch, plain and simple.

1309 days ago


What a bitch. Her show should be cancelled. We really don't need this kind of person on television, it is bad enough already. I vote to can her ass.

1309 days ago


UNBELIEVABLE!!! As someone who is a mother to a wish kid, all we want is for our kids to have happy days from time to time. This poor kid is sitting in a hospital bed, watching her, and it would make a DYING kid happy to meet her....for 1 day.....doesn't sound unreasonable to me. What a terrible role model she is!

1309 days ago


This little boy maynot be here much longer. I don't care what conflicts come up, you make time for something this special and precious! I liked watching the Barefoot Contessa but she has completely turned me off! I hope this sits on her conscious for the rest of her life!

1309 days ago


Sorry Ina you blew it and i will be to busy to watch your show from now on.

1309 days ago


Everyone does get busy at times you would think she could fit him in somewhere even if its a month wait.

I don't think the food network wants to deal with a human story. that's not their business. Cooking food is their business.

But still its a pr move you don't want to have to make. Turning down the make a wish foundation. ouch!

1309 days ago


Wow.. Upon reading this, hopefully everyone is 'too busy' to watch her show or buy her crap.

1309 days ago


Wow, well I am no longer a fan on Ina Garten.

1309 days ago

Rotten Puppets    

What the hell is a barefoot contessa? A fat bitch on just another cooking show nobody has ever heard of? Book tours? I would think looking at her picture she tours Carvel and Dairy Queen more than anything else.

Let's hope TMZ spends some time digging for dirt on this sack of **** and posts it up on the site so we can add more coal to the fire of her career ending for being such a selfish piece of ****.

1309 days ago


This was always my favorite cooking show, in part because of the wonderful spirit this woman portrayed. I now genuinely hope she falls half way in a f'in pot hole and get run over by a convo of runaway horses. I will never, ever watch her show again! That is a bonafide promise!!

1309 days ago


For all of you IDIOTS sticking up for her - SHUT THE HELL UP. Seriously - TOO F'ING bad if she doesnt like kids, blah blah blah - she wouldnt be on TV and FAMOUS if it werent for people like that child and his Mom who watch the fat cow's show. Seriously - you people are IDIOTS. She wants to be famous and have a show- well those are the perks buddy!!!! Yes, she should cook with the child - PERIOD!!!!!!!! She reaps the benefits of those people watching her show but then turns around and says screw you??? NOT ACCEPTABLE and I dont care what you IDIOTS say. And for those of you who agree go to the Food Network website and write a complaint. And the rest of you IDIOTS can respond all you want - she DOES owe the people who put her in the luxury lifestyle she is in - without them where would she be??? No response to that, huh?? You people piss me off!!!!! And Contesssa - go screw yourself you fat cow.

1309 days ago
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