First she’s an Academy Award-winning actress, then she wants to sing, next she writes a blog … Maybe I sound cynical, but I generally don’t like it when celebrities to try branch out of their forte. (i.e. Shaquille O’Neal decides that he wants to be an actor and gives us Kazaam. I’m sorry, but the world did not need that. Stick to shooting hoops, please.) However, Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, My Father’s Daughter, might prove my skepticism wrong and demonstrate a step in a new direction for her that I can approve of. Plus, she’s just so dang likable.
Starting the introduction with, “Okay, I wrote a cookbook. Why? You may ask.” tells me that Gwyneth knows that I know that she’s not a trained chef. I find this attitude endearing, and it makes me trust her culinary sensibilities more. And besides the fact that this overall effort is a sweet tribute to her father, Gwyneth manages to make things even more personal with quotes by her children, memorable stories, and old family photos.
The book has an atmosphere of ease and approachability, and I like that. Gwyneth also includes great tips (from a well-stocked pantry list to tasks for kids), recipes using ingredients I like to eat anyway, and handy icons to let you know if the dish is make-ahead, quick, vegetarian, one-pot, etc. But perhaps the most drawing piece of this cookbook is the photography. It. Is. GORGEOUS. Definitely worth checking out if for that reason alone. (I would post a picture to tease you, but Amazon won’t let me. Psh!)
Side note: Other celebs are jumping on this cookbook bandwagon, too. Eva Longoria just published Eva’s Kitchen, a cookbook with Hispanic flair, and Sheryl Crow has given us If It Makes You Healthy (I wish I was joking about that title), based on eating seasonally. Can these people really cook? I don’t know. Maybe it’s just a fad or another way for the rich & famous to keep expanding their empires, but who am I to turn down more recipes to explore for myself?