That crowd of nearly 1,500 people in the atrium of the Natick Collection during lunchtime today wasn't there to shop the sale at Nordstrom's.
The hordes, nearly all of them women, were waiting -- some for up to 2 hours -- for a book signing with Ina Garten, author of The Barefoot Contessa cookbooks and Food Network favorite.
Williams-Sonoma hosted the noontime event, and the queue quickly wound out of the store all the way down the new wing of the shopping mall.
A cheerful looking Garten chatted and signed while taking sips of San Pellegrino water, with some customers presenting her with as many as four copes of her brand-new cooking tome, Back to Basics, for her autograph.
But no rest for the weary author, according to Garten's book tour scheduler, tomorrow she'll be doing the same thing at the Barnes & Noble in Skokie, Illinois.
-- Erica Noonan