Gwyneth Paltrow's Cookbook: What Critics Say

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Is there anything Gwyneth Paltrow can't do? The Oscar-winning actress (Shakespeare in Love) also sings, dances, mediates fights and now she's taking over the publishing world with cookbook My Father's Daughter. The recipe tome, dedicated to Paltrow's late father, producer and director Bruce Paltrow, is being met with praise (albeit after a lot of snarking about her out-of-touch privileged ways). 

"By a conservative estimate, it would take a cooking novice $450 and five days' shipping time to acquire the "essential" ingredients of Gwyneth Paltrow's pantry," writes The Atlantic. "It would cost an additional $1300 to upgrade a standard kitchen to one with all her 'essential tools,' such as earthenware bowls, butcher block countertops, Global knives, a Vitamix blender, and a Le Creuset Dutch oven. That's before you get anywhere near the organic duck." 

But, sniping aside, the writer, Heather Horn, does admit that Paltrow's book has culinary merit. "The inescapable sense one gets when paging through the book—when not wondering how many different whites and pastels Paltrow can possibly own, and whether she has ever entered a climate that got below 60 degrees—is that it was put together by someone who really does love food and cooking. It's hard to hate someone who suggests cutting the richness of a bread pudding with a mimosa." 

Popular foodie blog, Eater writes, "The cookbook is many things: it is aspirational and sweet, it is seasonally-minded, it is unintentionally very funny, and it offers dinner party ideas and patronizing 'working-parent dinners.' The recipes are not that different from the many other tomes out there. Well, except that it offers vegan and child-friendly alternatives and has a foreword from buddy Mario Batali and name drops Jamie Oliver, Leonardo DiCaprio, and her 'favorite vegetarian friend,' Stella McCartney."

Salon starts its review with the title "Don't hate Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook" adding this warning: "My Father's Daughter might actually contain delicious, simple recipes." 

For her part, Paltrow acknowledges she's aware of the backlash. "One of my most negative qualities is this perfectionism that I have, and I think that I unconsciously project that because it comes from self-doubt and insecurity, and that's the ironic part," she tells USA Today. "I'm so deeply flawed. I'm just a normal mother with the same struggles as any other mother who's trying to do everything at once and trying to be a wife and maintain a relationship."