Ina Garten, known as the Barefoot Contessa was under heat last week for refusing to meet with a 6-year-old cancer patient who told the Make-A-Wish Foundation that his dream was to cook with the Food Network star, but Garten changed her mind, ABC News reports.
But it might be too late for Garten to save her reputation as Enzo Pereda has decided that since the Barefoot Contessa was "too busy" to make time for him, his new dream is to swim with dolphins.
"Enzo and his family have publicly expressed excitement about his dolphin wish," read a statement from Make-A-Wish to ABC News.com. "According to his mother, Enzo has started sleeping in his swimsuit because he wants to be ready when he dreams about them at night. We have been informed that Ina Garten plans to contact Enzo independently of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and we wish them well."
According to Garten's rep, she planned on inviting Pereda to the "Barefoot Contessa" set but is very busy with her Food Network show, cookbook writing and "numerous causes."
"She looks forward to inviting him to spend some time with her at the Food Network studios," the rep said in a statement. "Ina receives approximately 100 requests a month to support charitable causes that deeply affect people's lives. She contributes both personally and financially on a regular basis to numerous causes, including to Make-A-Wish Foundation. Sadly, it's of course not possible to do them all."
Pereda's mother wrote in her blog that her son was waiting for 3 years for Garten to say yes, despite Garten turning him down twice and that she "tried to get him excited about swimming with dolphins" even though Enzo, who suffers from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, doesn't know how to swim. So now, his mother is "trying to get him excited about the swim lessons."
The Make-A-Wish foundation made their first attempt to reach Garten in 2010 and after the Barefoot Contessa declined, they urged Pereda to make a different wish. Pereda was willing to wait though, since he became a fan of the cook upon watching "The Barefoot Contessa" while resting in bed.
Despite the snub, Pereda still "loves 'The Contessa'," according to the boy's mother.