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Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook a love letter to dad

NEW YORK — Surely Gwyneth Paltrow can't do everything well: She's yet to enter the field of medicine or play professional sports, for example.

But the list of things the Oscar-winning actor, mother, lifestyle guru and newly minted singer can't do seems to be dwindling. At a recent dinner party, she proved herself a master at yet another role — domestic goddess.

"I am just exploding with joy for her because this is something that gives her tremendous satisfaction," said Paltrow's mother, actor Blythe Danner, as she watched her daughter move about in an apron, playing host to a crowd that included A-list celebrity friends like Jay-Z, Jerry Seinfeld, Cameron Diaz and beau Alex Rodriguez, Martha Stewart and Paltrow's husband, Chris Martin, of Coldplay.

It was a dinner party Monday in celebration of her new cookbook, My Father's Daughter, sponsored by One Kings Lane. The book is filled with family recipes and pays tribute to Paltrow's dad, Bruce, who died in 2002. She credits him with teaching her how to cook while cultivating her love for food.

Paltrow took a break from her host duties at the event to talk about her culinary endeavor.

This book pays tribute to your father. What are some of your fondest memories of cooking with him?

Sort of just the togetherness of being next to him. We didn't talk a lot when we were cooking. We were very concentrated. It was that proximity. Sometimes he would make a joke or just throw out some hilarious criticism but in a sweet way. It was just being next to each other.

What are some of your favorite cooking traditions that you shared with your father that you now enjoy with your own children?

I think the importance of eating together as a family and making homemade food that is nourishing and good for you. It is such a nice time, because my dad used to really talk to us when we ate dinner and see what we thought about things, and now I use that opportunity to do the same thing with my kids as well.

This has been a transformative year for you — singing on big platforms such as the Grammys and the Oscars, and now releasing this cookbook. Is it just about acting anymore?

It has been a surprise for me as well. I have just had a great time. I feel very lucky that I am being able to try these other things. The cookbook isn't a career change for me. I am just a working mom and this is how I do it, so I made the collection of recipes for anyone who was interested to see just me as one example of a working mother kind of a thing.

People see you as this celebrity, but do you really cook?

I do. Every day. I think it is really important to make food yourself. I think it is so ingrained. I don't really think about it. I will just get a bunch of ingredients and cook whatever is around. I am kind of always on the fly making stuff. I think it is such a part of who I am that I don't even think about it now.

You have your own website and now there are reports that you are coming out with your own magazine. Is this true?

It is not true at all.

. On the Web

Gwyneth Paltrow shares her lifestyle thoughts and tips on her website, goop.com. The site is divided into categories: Make, Go, Get, Do, Be and See, and offers a weekly newsletter.

Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook a love letter to dad 04/26/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 5:30am]

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