A Q&A With Martha Stewart: Her New Book, What She Thinks of Gourmet, And Cooking to Ludacris
Martha Stewart is coming to town this Monday to sign copies of her new book, Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home: 52 Quick Meals to Cook for Family & Friends. For all of you keeping track, this is Martha's 67th cookbook. We spoke with her yesterday by phone in her New York offices, catching her momentarily between taping her show, blogging, tweeting and, generally, empire-ing. She'll be at the Sur La Table at the Grove next Monday at 5 p.m. to sign copies of her new book. And if you're in Carlsbad this Sunday at 3 p.m., she'll be signing books at the Carlsbad Costco.
photo credit: Valerie Schaff
We did not ask Martha how she keeps up this pace; nor did we ask her about doing time. We are far too polite for that. We did, however, ask her about what it's like to publish in this economy, about the demise of Gourmet, and about all that rap she listens to while she cooks. And, of course, we asked her for a recipe. Q&A after the jump.
MS: Take what you learn and cook, on a daily basis, delicious food that is really as good as most restaurants in an hour or less. We're pressed for time, and I wanted to do a book that's filled with 52 menus that takes out the guesswork of what goes with what. An hour an ten minutes is the longest they take; and that's for the whole menu.
SI: Has publishing a cookbook this year been any different than publishing a book in past years, given the state of the economy?
MS: Well, not really for us, because we're not about opening cans and boxes and taking the giant short cuts that so many books these days are taking. We want to come up with original recipes that are well-designed and that end up with really good results. Our books are more substantial than most; this one has over 200 recipes. We stress sustainability, shopping well, shopping cleanly.
SI: Given the amount of perspective that you have, and given the number of cookbooks you've published, do you think that people are cooking differently now?
MS: I think they want to cook. And I think they want to cook at home. And I think they want to cook fresh. And I think they want to cook healthy.
SI: Do you agree with Michael Pollan that people are abandoning the kitchen for their televisions?
MS: For the Food Network? Not the people that buy our books. They're not buying them and putting them on their shelves; they're actually cooking from them. Not the over 1 million subscribers to our Everyday Food magazine. They are cooking from that magazine. They are cooking. I don't like to criticize people; I'd rather encourage them.