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Ina Garten Cooks Up Some Bad Publicity

Those who follow Food TV/celebrity chef Ina Garten – the “Barefoot Contessa” – are scratching their heads over her recent public relations stumble.

With an impressive string of cookbooks, kitchen products, and tv appearances, Ina usually presents an impeccable image to the outside world.  That’s why news that she snubbed a 6-year old cancer patient’s Make A Wish request – twice – is causing chatter.

Enzo Pereda wanted to cook with the chef he often watched on TV while in the hospital.  Garten’s camp turned down the request twice, before realizing that it was causing a stir.  To save face, they relinquished, and finally made an offer to the family to have Enzo cook with Ina.  However, Enzo had decided instead to swim with the dolphins and the family turned down the Barefoot Contessa’s offer.

Was it intentional?  It;s hard to say for sure.

While Garten’s initial refusal may have been an oversight, it was also a bad publicity move. She’s gushed about doing charity events in the past. In 2009, she opened up her home for the East Hampton Historical Society, saying she always said yes to the organization “because I think what separates East Hampton from any other town is the history here.”

Meanwhile, the family only wishes the best for their son and hopes that the publicity goes away.

Enzo’s mother wants the mudslinging to stop. In her latest blog post titled “Please Stop the Madness,” she wrote that she and her son have “already moved on” and are gearing up for his second Make-a-Wish request, to swim with dolphins.

Make-a-Wish has also turned its focus from the celebrity chef to the dolphins.

“Enzo and his family have publicly expressed excitement about his dolphin wish,” a spokesperson for the foundation said in a statement to ABCNews.com Monday. “According to his mother, Enzo has started sleeping in his swimsuit because he wants to be ready when he dreams about them at night.”

(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

‘Barefoot Contessa’s’ Offer to Make-a-Wish Kid Backfires – ABC News.

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