Warning: This is a three-hankie story.
After Barefoot Contessa chef Ina Garten was dragged through the Internet mud after twice declining to meet with a 6-year-old cancer patient whose Make-A-Wish Foundation dream was to cook with the Food Network star, she realized her schedule could in fact accommodate Enzo Pereda's wish.
Garten may have torched her reputation missed her shot, however...
Because Garten isn't the only mammal who Enzo wants to meet.
"Enzo and his family have publicly expressed excitement about his dolphin wish," read a statement from Make-A-Wish to ABCNews.com, referring to the latest thing on Enzo's to-do list, which is to swim with dolphins. "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 a rep for Garten, she planned to call him up today to invite him to the Barefoot Contessa set.
"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. Throughout her life, Ina has contributed generously to all kinds of important efforts and she will continue to do so."
Garten had twice claimed scheduling conflicts in refusing to commit to meeting Enzo but, according to his mom, he said he "still loves the Contessa" and has been willing to wait for her to say yes.
"I tried to explain it was NOT personal, I guess she was just busy???" "Mama Pereda" had written on her blog, which chronicles her son's condition, before Garten changed her mind.
"I tried to get him excited about swimming with dolphins instead, but he said 'I still want her as my 1st wish, even if she doesn't want me' …Oh and… 'I can't swim'. So now I am trying to get him excited about the swim lessons he is about to start!
"And I truly appreciate all the passion you feel and all the love and support you have shown Enzo," she continued. "He has touched a lot of people and I feel truly blessed that we have been surrounded since DAY 1 (of his diagnosis) with people that are TRULY loving, generous and would give ANYTHING to make this easier for Enzo and even my family."