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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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I think the dolphins will be nicer to him.

1272 days ago


what a selfish ****ing bitch. i hope she's canceled and loses everything...karma is a bitch to those to whom much is given and GIVES NOTHING BACK! scheduling issues, my ass. 10 min wouldn't have cost her a thing.
hope she gets what she deserves
what a selfish bitch.

1272 days ago

Pete Sake    

Well, golly-- it sounds like the most ticked-off person here is Enzo's mom, who wanted to meet Ina by using her kid's cancer as leverage. Now THAT'S sick. This "member of Enzo's family" who's raising a stink by contacting TMZ....How much did Enzo's family member get paid for this particular nugget? Well, maybe that took the edge off a little. I hope so. Sounds like Make A Wish completely mismanaged things here, as well.

1272 days ago


What a awful person she must be. I can't imagine her sleeping well at night! She has never been my favorite on the food network, always comes across as being phony, now the truth comes out. She should feel honored that she would be on the top of someones list to meet, trust me she is not even a blip on my radar. From now on I will change channels when her show is on, like I said no love lost I never liked her much anyway.

1272 days ago


To the person with the comment about Planned Parenthood:
You douche, bitch! Do you not realize PP does more than just abortions? I found out that I had ovarian cancer because of PP! While I do not condone using abortion for birth control, it is and should be every woman's right to have the choice! The stupid, fat bitch from the Food Network wasn't going to actually "save" the kid, she was just supposed to visit with him. Yeah, she is a bitch, but why dog PP?

1272 days ago


Food Network! Fire the barefoot ****essa!

1272 days ago


I was a big fan of Ina but after I heard what she did to the boy. I was very, very disappointed. She has no heart, feelings whatsoever. A busy schedule yeah right!!!! I bet she has time for a family and friends reunion. If she has time for that. She has time for the precious boy "wishes" remember that there's a God that see everything. You lost me as a fan because you don't have a heart and lose lots more.

1272 days ago

Anna W. Williams    

I'd rather swim with "Dolphins" than swim with "Sharks".

1272 days ago


my wish is that you will be out, and lose everything you have worked for because you have no time for a child of God..who wants to be and see you..i guess the only one in the world that had this wish

1272 days ago


Visiting sick kids may not pay the rent, as someone previously posted, but good PR does, and her choice is very bad for her PR.

1272 days ago


Barefoot Bitch! I will start a boycott of her show, her books and whatever else she pedals around. Maybe she needs to refrain from feeding her face and get up off her ass and do something rather than think of the almighty $$$.

1272 days ago


I'm very sorry to hear this. She is considered nurturing on her TV show, but obviously this is a shallow persona. There is simply no excuse that is acceptable, unless she were in a coma. I doubt I'll watch her show any more.

1272 days ago


That's just DISGUSTING- she should be ashamed of herself

1272 days ago


What a self centered poor excuse of person she is. She would think different if that was her child. I know first hand how much it means to a child to get that wish granted. Her show is not that great and I don't think anyone should watch it again.
Her show should be taken off the air.

1272 days ago

Cecile Grandowicz    

Very disappointed in her. I USED to watch her show daily, believe me this has changed. Busy yes, however, there is NO EXCUSE for her to deny a small seriously ill child his wish. She and her rep need to do a little soul searching, there is no one that is so valuable and indespensable. If I were the little boy's mother I'd tell her to forget it, she is not worth it. She'll probably loss a lot of fans, including this one. Pray the little boy gets better.

1272 days ago
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