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Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Gilbert’

An Afternoon Dishing With Martha Stewart

martha-stewartFishbowlNY visited Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s test kitchen on the West Side Thursday afternoon to make chicken pot pies with Martha Stewart herself — and dish about, among other things, Season 3 of her PBS show Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, which premiered earlier this month (and will be exclusively sponsored by KitchenAid). A small group of journos and bloggers donned stylish striped aprons while listening intently to the domestic diva’s tips on stewing a whole chicken, combining it with buttery potatoes, carrots, onions, mushrooms, peas, thyme and cognac, and then layering an egg-wash-glazed puff pastry over the mixture-filled ramekins before popping them into the oven. Voilà. All the while, Stewart happily answered questions we peppered her with. Here are some of the tidbits we learned:

PBS keeps her busy. In addition to her Cooking School, Stewart is filming the third season of her other PBS show, Martha Bakes, and has just wrapped four shows in two days. She brought in the breakfast cookies she made on the show for us to nibble on while we waited for our pies to finish baking. “They’re about a pound each!” she said. No kidding. And delicious, we might add.

She gives credit where credit is due. Her test kitchen whips up around 1,000 recipes a year for the Martha Stewart Living magazines — and she credits her food editors, almost all of whom have been with her “for years,” with coming up with many of the inspired meals.

She wants to open a restaurant. “It’s so hard that life [as a restaurateur], but so fun,” she said. And the pot-pie recipe she shared that afternoon would be “the perfect lunch item.”

She likes football. Stewart isn’t cooking a Super Bowl meal — “I’m going to the Super Bowl!” she exclaimed. But if she were to prep something for game day, quesadillas and margaritas with “fresh lime juice and good tequila in sugar-rimmed glasses” would be on the menu.

More from Martha and photos from the event, after the jump.

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Lunch: James Cameron’s Oscar Campaign Comes to Michael’s

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— DIANE CLEHANE

It was Hollywood on the Hudson at Michael’s today as Peggy Siegal hosted one of her legendary lunches right smack in the middle of the dining room. Today’s guest of honor was James Cameron. Looks like Peggy pulled out all the stops, rounding up quite an eclectic collection of actors, directors, and entertainment A-listers to celebrate the Avatar auteur’s nine Oscar nominations and, no doubt, drum up a few votes. Ballots are due March 2! In case you haven’t heard, Cameron is up against some stiff competition in the best picture and director categories. His ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow, has been nabbing plenty of statuettes this award season for helming The Hurt Locker, and everyone in Hollywood is waiting to see who comes out on top on Oscar night.

I was squeezed into the bar with Redbook‘s editor-in-chief Stacy Morrison and Hearst’s director of public relations Alexandra Carlin. Stacy is about to publish her first book, Falling Apart in One Piece: One Optimist’s Journey Through the Hell of Divorce (Simon & Schuster) next month and it’s a real page turner. After spending a year “trying not to write the book,” Stacy decided to chronicle her painful but ultimately life-affirming journey from jilted wife of a year-old baby to happy single mother. The memoir, which seems destined for the big screen, took two years of writing and rewriting on weekends to finish. “I wanted to make people think differently about divorce,” Stacy told me. After tiring of deflecting people’s inappropriate questions about the split, Stacy says she ultimately thought: ‘If you want to see the real story, here it is.’ And she doesn’t hold anything back. From the nights spent sobbing on her kitchen floor to the painful conversations with her soon-to-be ex, it’s all there.

I asked Stacy if she had any misgivings about exposing so much about her personal life in the book, given her high-profile position as a relationship ‘expert.’ (She got her boss Cathie Black‘s blessing to write it.) On the contrary, she told me. “The book is a resilience road map,” says Stacy. Miraculously, she and her ex-husband have managed to remain friends (really!) and have a co-parenting strategy that works for the couple and their young son. Stacy even dedicated the book to the man who left her because, she says, “I couldn’t have written it without him in more ways than one.”

The book is getting plenty of good buzz and even earned high praise from none other than Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote of her own reawakening after divorce in Eat, Pray, Love. Gilbert “loved the tone” of the book, calling it “real, without the slightest hint of self-pity.”

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Just an intimate lunch for 38 including James Cameron and pals Bob Balaban, Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn (looking absolutely ageless), Avatar villain Stephen Lang, indie It girl Parker Posey, documentarian Ken Burns and director Julie Taymor, Jean Doumanian and Warner Music’s Lyor Cohen. Also in attendance: Les Moonves, John Stossel, Felicia Taylor, and “Mayor” Joe Armstrong. Entertainment Weekly’s Oscar odds-maker Dave Karger was also on hand taking it all in.

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