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Ina Garten caught in Web storm over wish

Ina Garten, the Food Network's Barefoot Contessa.

Ina Garten, the Food Network's Barefoot Contessa. Credit: Audrey C. Tiernan

Ina Garten, East Hampton's own Barefoot Contessa, found herself embroiled in some uncharacteristic unpleasantness last week when TMZ posted a report (from "a family member involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation") that the TV cook had snubbed a 6-year-old boy who had told Make-A-Wish that he wanted to make dinner with her. The story soon went viral.

According to his mother's blog,, Enzo Pereda is being treated in Oregon for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Earlier this month, "Mama Pereda" blasted Garten, first for "3 years" of delay and then for her decision.

Monday, Garten released a statement that read, in part, "Ina became aware of Enzo's story this weekend and will be calling him today. She looks forward to inviting him to spend some time with her at the Food Network studios."

Make-A-Wish spokesman Brent Goodrich said Monday that the foundation's policy was to wait until wishes were granted to make them public. "The planning for the wishes doesn't always go as we originally envisioned," he said. "That's why we encourage our families not to discuss the wish-granting process as we're going through it."

As for Mama Pereda, her most recent blog post states "I want to make it VERY CLEAR we have NO ANGER OR ILL WILL toward Ina Garten." Enzo, apparently, has "already moved on and [is] getting excited about swimming with the dolphins."

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