I first met Gwyneth Paltrow while I was working on the cookbook for Spain... On the Road Again, the 2008 public television show she shot with her friend Mario Batali. I knew Gwyneth was into food when I saw her in action at the dinner table (don't sit next to her if you want to keep all your french fries for yourself), but I wasn't sure whether that fascination with food led all the way to cooking. Then we spent some time together in her London kitchen. When I saw how thinly she sliced garlichow focused she was, how sharp she kept her knifeI immediately realized that Gwyneth cooks the way she does almost everything: with thoughtfulness, purpose and huge curiosity.
Gwyneth and I got to talking about putting a cookbook together and spent the next year or so gathering her recipes, and the stories behind them. The result is the new My Father's Daughter. Full of family-oriented, ultra-reliable food, it is a personal cookbook that is authentic to Gwyneth and the way she feeds people. It is also an homage to her late father, the TV and film producer Bruce Paltrow, whom she refers to as "a supreme gourmand." The book was inspired predominantly by "how much joy he derived from feeding people he loved," Gwyneth writes. "I mean genuine, bursting happiness."
- Spanish Road Trip with Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow
- How to Invent a Family Recipe
- 10 Entertaining Essentials: Satisfying Family-Style Dishes
- Cookbook Goddesses
- Food Pros Reveal Their Favorite Cookbooks
Producing the book required long days of brainstorming, grocery shopping, cooking, testing, readjusting, accumulating tall stacks of dirty dishes and writing everything down. Often we were so full in the evening from all of our tasting that we'd open a bottle of something red (at the time, Gwyneth was on a big Oregon Pinot Noir kick) and call it a day. But once, after testing recipes that were on the lighter side, we realized it was late and while we were both wiped out, we were also very hungry. There were a few zucchini in the vegetable bin left over from a failed zucchini bread (one day we'll get it right!), and Gwyneth started reminiscing about the fried zucchini at Elio's, an old-world Italian place on the Upper East Side of Manhattan where she used to go with her family when she was growing up. While she was telling me about the restaurant, she put up a pot of water for spaghetti and started slicing the zucchini into coins. She reached for the container of flour, tossing the squash with a shake to get them dry enough to crisp nicely in a pan of olive oil. She finely grated Parmesan cheese and added it to the pasta with a bit of hot, starchy cooking water, forming a creamy sauce to coat the spaghetti. She added a few roughly torn basil leaves to her carefully fried zucchini, finishing the whole thing with just a bit more Parmesan.