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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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RJ Hunt    


1276 days ago


This is truly sad.

I will never watch her program again, or buy anymore of her products. I am her consumer and I now reject her for life. She has let this child down, and now her fans.

I hope that she reads this and knows that without investing supporters, (Like I have been), her career will end.

1276 days ago


I didnt even know who the heck she was until they mentioned 'barefoot contessa' then it was more like a vague 'oh i think i remember her'.

My sentiments EXACTLY!!! But to her chagrin, I certainly know who she is now...way to make an impression lady. :-/

Unless this chick was on her own deathbed, there can be NO excuse for her being this horribly selfish and downright ugly to deny a dying child a few minutes time...A CHILD WHO THOUGHT ENOUGH OF HER, THAT THEY'D MAKE MEETING HER THEIR FINAL WISH IN LIFE. SHAME on her for taking such an important and sacred thing for granted.

If someone's final wish in LIFE were to meet me, I would be so flattered and so humbled, and I would walk to the ends of the earth to make it happen (if for no other reason, than to ask them in person if they are nuts and tell them to aim higher next time LOL).

Seriously though, she better HURRY UP and make this right, or this will be the way she'll be remembered forever. This will define her.

If she gives a damn about her career and her legacy, she'll suck up whatEVER her damn problem is and fix this. This is bigger than her. Whether Enzo swims with dolphins or not, SHE needs to make this right. This is PR suicide. She knows she's screwed anyway since TMZ is running the story...this site is way too popular in the mainstream.

1276 days ago

George McFly    

i'll cook with him any day of the week. she should be ashamed in the least

1276 days ago


the "Barefoot Contessa" I never heard of the pig and have no desire to either. She's too busy being a c-nt

1276 days ago


I just sent a comment to food network in regards to this story. I hope they get flooded with messages of disgust. She absolutely can take 2 hours out of one day to see this boy. She can claim she gives money to causes. Money is great, but actual time and effort is worth almost more. I wish there was something I could do for this boy. As a mother with a 6 year old myself I can't imagine the family's pain. I reaaly hope he gets well.

1276 days ago

George McFly    

u better make an apperance if ur reading this. get ur ass there u selfish bitch

1276 days ago


Boo! That fat BITCH!

1276 days ago


she is too wrapped up with herself. forgetting her fans. she forgets her fans stop what they are doing to watch her show and to go to her book signings. I'm one what wont anymore.

1276 days ago


I agree with howie !

1276 days ago


Everybody's ready to fillet this woman, but think about it. Why should she be guilt-tripped into this? She probably has her own charities she donates her time and money to that helps hundreds or thousands of people, and not just one at a time. I'm not too enthralled with Make a Wish guilt-tripping celebs into doing stuff like this. And then, apparently, blabbing to the media if they don't get their way.

1276 days ago

Fuck Celebrities    

I don't see TMZ stepping up to the plate to do something for this kid.

Why are you picking on Ina?

Not stirring up enough s hit?

1276 days ago


This woman has no interest in anyone except for her elite demographic of fans, which consist of everyone in the general vicinity of the Hamptons, Martha's Vineyard, Beverly Hills, and other niche well-to-do areas. She is utterly out of touch with the "everyday Joe" of America, and anyone who has ever watched her cooking show can vouch for this. Her emphasis on using exclusively high-end, specialty, and hard to find products in every recipe, lest the quality suffer, is something she is infamous for. I'm all about cooking great food with quality ingredients, but her snobbery is astonishingly complete.

It is of no surprise to me that she has little to no interest in being "hands-on" with helping this little boy and his wish. She would much rather sit on her ass in her gigantic house in the Hamptons and write out a check instead. After all, monetary donations to charity are tax deductible. Brightening the day of a terminally ill child, live and in person, not so much.

1276 days ago


If she is too busy to meet Enzo and let him cook with her......then I hope everyone is too busy to watch her cooking shows and too busy to make it to the bookstore to buy one of her books as well. I almost bought one of her books the other day, now I'm thankful that I didn't

1276 days ago


I don't even know who this ugly human being is, but I honestly hope every piece of success she has disappears from her life.

What an utter piece of ****.

1276 days ago
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