Celebrity Chef Skewered For Turning Down Make A Wish Request

March 28, 2011; Source: MailOnline.com | To her cooking show fans, she's known as the Barefoot Contessa. But her treatment of a six-year-old boy from Portland, Ore., suffering from leukemia, can only be characterized as flat-footed.

Enzo Pareda, who says he watches Ina Garten's cooking shows in his hospital bed with his mother, had asked the Make-A-Wish Foundation to set up a meeting for the two of them. According to the MailOnline.com, which is feasting on this story, Garten turned down Pareda's request twice. The first time she said no to Pareda, who has been suffering from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia for three years, because of a conflict with a book tour. The second time she begged off saying she was too busy.

Pareda's mother has been chronicling her son's failed attempts to meet the Garten on a blog, Angels for Enzo. After the second time Garten spurned the request to meet, Pareda's mother wrote: ''I felt terrible for him, he has been unwavering in his desire to meet her for 3 years and despite many attempts to get him to pick a 2nd wish or change his mind he would not." When hearing the news a second time, Pareda asked his mother, “Why doesn’t she want to meet me?"

The Make-A-Wish Foundation acknowledges that sometimes "planning for wishes doesn't turn out as originally envisioned, despite people’s best intentions and efforts throughout the wish-granting process." A spokesman for Garten says the chef does her best to help with as many groups as she can, but can't say yes to all them. Pareda isn't giving up, though. He told his mother: “I still want her as my 1st wish, even if she doesn’t want me."—Bruce Trachtenberg