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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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Im completely done with any type of product she has to do with.I think it shows what kind of person she truly is.I found out I was a bone marrow match to someone I will never meet and I didnt even think twice of doing it. Just imagine if she found out she was the life saving match and someone needed to depend on her?

1316 days ago


Food Network might not want the kid on the show but she could of flew out and spend 2 hours with him

1316 days ago


I've watched her show a few minutes from time to time. She creeps me out with that oh so soft voice. Looks like my instincts are better than I thought. She's obviously a troubled woman.

1316 days ago


To comment #13 about how "visiting sick kids doesn't pay the rent" and how this child has now learned a lesson that you "don't get all you wish in life...even if you have cancer"
First of all this child has ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia)which is a very deadly form of childhood cancer with a survival rate of as low as only 20% in some cases,so his learning years are limited and I think he should try to learn more positive lessons, maybe love and compassion? Secondly Ina Garten is a very wealthy woman and I'm sure she does not even think twice if she will be able to pay her rent. Have a little class!

1316 days ago


I never liked Ina. I never liked her show. I always thought she was dirty or something.

She's not a professional chef. She's a cook. She was in the finance business or something before her FOODTV show.

God forbird a dying child wants to spend an hour of his short life to cook with you that you have to deny twice.

It's a damn shame.

1316 days ago


Poor child will have much more fun swimming with playful, kind dolphins than he would cooking with Ina, the fat, selfish cow shark. This will work out much better for Enzo in the long run. He'll have much more fun. Bless his little heart.

1316 days ago


Never cared much for her. Today I care even less. I had much rather swim with dolphins than cook with a whale.

1316 days ago


She is too busy? Come on, one little child and she cannot take time out of her schedule to grant a wish? Her fans can help her out with the scheduling problem, quit watching her show and quit buying her books, betcha she could find the time then.

1316 days ago


oh wow what a b!ich. The kid is only asking a day I am sure she can make room in her busy life geez.

1316 days ago


HEy everyone!! Let's be TOO BUSY to see her program, her tour, books etc.

She should be ashamed of herself!

Get her off the air. Not a very good example for the nation!!

1316 days ago


Come on Ina, Paula Deen would move heaven and earth to help a child. I've always thought Ina came across as very pretentious, and rather full of herself. Well, really folks, she's a cook on a TV show with lots of "friends" in the hamptons...big whoop. IF you think you are not going to have time to meet the commitments you make to the organization, just don't make any commitments to start with and maybe it will avoid the bad press this kind of incident generates. Shame on you Ina.

1316 days ago


Yeah sorry, don't care HOW busy I was, I'd make time for this little boy. She's not dying, he is. Ina, your a butthole.

1316 days ago


I say lady get your priorities in life together! Everyone is busy, but this kid is dying, and wants to meet you??? I would for go sleep before I turned down a dying childs dream/wish... I cant imagine you have that many dying children who want to meet you. Hmmm... Will not watch your show ever again- just too busy.

1316 days ago


I have always watched as I will admit I have enjoyed her show in the past but now it seems I will be too busy

1316 days ago


Karma is a bitch! She will get hers!!!!

1316 days ago
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