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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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Typical BS spin. She's not that popular. Bobby Flay would have made time.

1311 days ago


can't find 2-3 hours in 2 years? hm I work full time go to school full time run my own business and run my family, I could find 2-3 hours in a week, usually could juggle something within a couple of days. I hope she doesn't need anything quick though ...she may find people no longer have time for her

1311 days ago


A sad story and some of the comments here were pretty sad also.
I doubt very much that she is too busy to honor this request but I know that I no longer have the time to watch her program.

1311 days ago


I'm sorry the boy is sick, I really am. But to run to the media like this shows such a disgusting sense of entitlement. I don't know anything about this woman. I don't know her health situation, her schedule, her family responsibilities, or if she helps other charities and just couldn't commit to this one.

I'm a regular person, and I'm frustrated with charities lately. I gave what I could afford to a few charities I cared about, and they decided to show their appreciation by selling my contact info to 20 other charities (no exaggeration) without my knowledge or consent. I have a tiny, locked mailbox which gets stuffed constantly with address labels, notes, etc. trying to guilt me into giving money I don't have. As far as I know, there's no way to stop it because they bought the information, it's not a mass mailing. So I'm not going to judge this woman, because it is literally impossible to help everyone who asks for help.

1311 days ago


I can't believe this!She doesn't have time? Really? Think again that poor child has no time.I have no words to say because none would be good to print.

1311 days ago


Ask Gordon Ramsey he is a much better cook anyway's. As guy who has kids, i bet he would be thrilled to do it! She could have scheduled time, since this is not the first request. Or Jamie Oliver. What a Prick!
Peace , Love and Wiener Dogs.

1311 days ago


What a selfish Bitch. She needs to remember where she came from and how she got to where she is today- Through her fans!

Posted at 12:43 AM on Mar 25, 2011 by kelley
Took the words right out of my mouth. This lady is busy because of her fan base and to disappoint a little boy like this is just so sad!
If we who keep her busy become to busy to acknowledge her and her activities and she slides into a nothing person, then we have done our jobs.
I would totally boycott her shows, her books, her other products. Isn't it time that we hold someone accountable for being so selfish? A little boy for goodness sake!
And not just a little boy, but a fan of her's, a little boy who is dying. That's just not right. Ina Garden needs to remember how she got to where she is!
Everyone is disposable, and she certainly is too! Boycott her and her products, hit her where it hurts, her pocketbook!

1311 days ago

Tom G    

Kids are overrated...

1311 days ago


anyone can write a tax deductible check, when your rich thats just good business,,, but to let this little boy down,,,,, get over yourself bitch your just a ****ing cook...
what a piece of ****

example of whats wrong with America, are soldiers arnt to busy to put their life on the line so this bitch can have the freedom to have her stupid show.... stupid bitch yuppie

1311 days ago


I ran into Ina once as she was leaving a museum and she could not have been kinder or more gracious when I asked her to sign my program. My guess is that she did not even know about this request and that her team made the decision based on her alreaady packed calendar.
My best wishes to this young boy.

1311 days ago


Give her a break! I used to work at Make-A-Wish and she's not the first celebrity who has said no to a wish.

1311 days ago



Change your name to The "Heartless Contessa"!

I can not believe that somebody is SO busy every hour of every day that they couldn't accommodate cooking a meal with a child who wanted it.

Are you telling me that she doesn't cook ANY of her own meals any longer?!?!?!? Beotch Has Got To Eat Sometime!

I don't care what it is from this point forward but if she is associated with it or endorsing it I will make DAMN sure that I don't patronize it it any way whatsoever!

That's just crappy! I don't care if people feel that Make-A-Wish guilts people into participating, it really doesn't take much to make a dying person happy. Why not Make Time?


1311 days ago


A simple email to the Food Network Via their CONTACT US:

Will help those who have things to say personally It helped us. She's despicable.

1311 days ago


Seriously Ina, this is disappointing. Get out of the pretentious HAMPTONS and your idyllic life on the beach. GO COOK A MEAL FOR A SICK YOUNG BOY WHO MAY BE DYING.

Sheesh! He's not good enough for you, I suppose.

Terribly disappointed, truly disturbed. And I don't care how much she donates to charities. Irrelevant. A simple 3 hour evening with this boy would mean so much to him. Take a hike, INA.

1311 days ago


wow thats just awful i will never watch that b...hs show ever again were does she get off all he wanted to do was cook a meal wit the fat ass heifer ppl like her just suck

1311 days ago
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