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My Father's Daughter, Gwyneth Paltrow's new book of recipes, came out two days ago and is already climbing the New York Times' bestseller list. She deserves it, because the book is a labor of love. A long, patient one. Dedicated to her father, it has been in the works for the last three years and is about something she is very fond of, food.
Paltrow credits her father, film director and producer Bruce Paltrow, who passed away a few years ago, for instilling in her a passion for good food. «I hope he would be proud of the book, and I think he would also like the title.» He was a sweet father, proud of his daughter. He used to talk to us when we ate dinner and see what we thought about things and now I use that opportunity to do the same with my kids». The actress is married to Coldplay front man, Chris Martin. They are the parents of two beautiful children: Apple, six, and Moses, five.
Although many of the dishes proposed in the book are vegetarian, not all of Paltrow's book is filled with the healthy food actresses are expected to eat.
Cheesy Stuffed Burgers and other meat dishes are offered along with soups, sandwiches, even her mother's blueberry muffin recipe. «I'll eat anything, from pasta to hamburgers. But what I love most is fried foods. Fry a cockroach and I'll eat it.» says the Oscar winning actress, while she sips from a cup. «It's a pu-erh tea. It’s like a Chinese tea. It's not so bad, it smells like Chinese medicine.»
To celebrate the release of the book she hosted a dinner party in New York. Cameron Diaz, Alex Rodriguez, Martha Stewart, Beyoncè were among the 60 guests. «There were 13 ducks and 26 celery, I was chopping all day,» says Ms. Paltrow, who is also rumored to have her own food magazine in the works. «I’ve never cooked for a party this size. I was completely freaked out by the sizes of stockpots and pans.»
Besides cooking for 60 guests, acting (in movies and for television, most recently she was a guest star in the Fox comedy, Glee), writing cookbooks and raising children, she also finds time to update her very successful blog, goop.com, where she shares recipes as well as housekeeping, travel and fashion tips.
«Everybody describes me as Miss Perfection. I'm a perfectionist, it's one of my most negative qualities, but I'm not perfect, I just try very hard. I define myself as a mom and like every mother, I'd like my family to eat good food.» she explains. «I have this incredibly blessed life and I've gotten to travel all over the world to work and live. I go on tour with my husband and go to places I would never necessarily go. I started accruing all of this information, so I decided to share it with friends on GOOP».
Among those friends there are a lot of professional chefs. Mario Batali and Jamie Oliver to name just a couple. «I love Jamie Oliver. I love his food, I love his books... I love the mission he is on.» writes the actress in her blog. «Jamie Oliver is trying to change the way we eat, and by doing so, he plans to deal a massive blow to the likes of obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. He is trying to encourage us to get back into the kitchen and cook for ourselves and our families, thereby cutting out the fast and overly processed foods that are making us sick, fat and depressed.»
Speaking about depressing fat, Gwyneth had to put on some weight for her last role, the troubled and addicted singer Kelly Canter in the independent movie Country Strong. «I like letting myself go once in a while, especially if I have the excuse of a movie that requires it, I can’t be one of these people that never does it. I would go crazy. I like food too much. I like alcohol too much, I like ice cream too much, I could never live like that. It would be so profoundly boring to me to always be strict with myself. And if you are wondering if I had fun eating fried chicken and biscuits, the answer is: Hell yeah!.»
And if you are wondering if Gwyneth Paltrow feels that awful sense of guilt most people have after eating junk food, here you have the answer: «You know what?» she says. «When I did it for the movie I felt amazing until a month into it and then I started to feel horrible. I think I was just like, I went a little too far, I just totally slacked off. I think if I had at least done one day a week of being healthy, then I probably would not have, but I started to feel pretty bad by the end of it and my son was like "your tummy is really fat!" I was like "any other criticism?" And he was like: "no, just your tummy".» A very charming laugh underlines what seems nonsense even to her: Gwyneth Paltrow with a belly.
She is a movie star, a jet-setter, a mother of two, and she's fighting the same battles with feeding her family healthy food as the rest of us.