Gwyneth Paltrow can stand the heat in the kitchen, thankyouverymuch!
Feeling her reputation at risk after the New York Times published a controversial story in last week's Dining section claiming the Oscar winner collaborated with a ghostwriter on her cookbook, Paltrow skyped into the Friday edition of The Rachael Ray Show hoping to stick a fork in this beef once and for all.
So did the knives come out?
"Normally I don't respond to gossip or anything, but you know this is my professional life and I'm writing more cookbooks," Paltrow dished to Rachael Ray. "And I feel like it's important for the people who have responded so positively and interacted with me about my book, that they know that this is my book and I wrote my book and it's all mine."
The controversy over the 39-year-old actress and GOOP guru's cookbook authorship erupted after the paper stated that food writer and chef Julia Turshen was penning a second book with Paltrow after their collaboration on the latter's New York Times best-seller My Father's Daughter, a collection of some of Gwynnie's favorite recipes.
The article also named Paltrow as one of many authors employing a ghostwriter, which also included such celebrity chefs as Jamie Oliver, Mario Batali and Ray herself. That prompted an immediate push back by the Shakespeare in Love star, who wrote a polite note on her Facebook page saying the paper's "facts need checking."
After fielding complaints from Paltrow and the others, the paper stood by its assertions, though in a follow-up piece Times scribe Julia Moskin noted that all four acknowledged working with collaborators and were objecting to the suggestion that they were not the authors of their work. The writer also clarified that she wasn't accusing the thespian of "ghost cooking," i.e. an industry sin by which the food, its "ingredients, the flavors [and] techniques" were "invented by someone else."
For her part, while seconding Paltrow that the two wrote their own compilations, a defensive Ray didn't exactly dispel the idea she uses a helping hand to punch things up (though the way she puts it makes such ghostwriters sound like interns).
"I so strongly agree," she told the actress. "This is how I spend the little time at home I have with my family, I spend in front of these little notebooks, in front of the computer. It sort of takes away from all of that to not be able to call that writing—of course that's writing. It doesn't mean you don't value the people who write the glossary or that help organize the pantry or that work on a project, but a writer is still a writer."
Paltrow also took the time to address the brouhaha in GOOP newsletter that went out today.
Last week, The New York Times inferred that I used a ghostwriter on my cookbook, My Father's Daughter, which to me means someone else wrote the recipes and the text. That is not the case," she said. "My Father's Daughter was a three year labor of love, a collection of the food I make and serve loved ones, an ode to my dad. I had lots of tremendous assistance with things like note taking, recipe testing, logistical planning, but the recipes and words are all mine and come from my heart. Now, on to the fun stuff..."