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Gwyneth Paltrow appears in a March 2, 2012 episode of The Chew. - Provided courtesy of ABC

Gwyneth Paltrow defends cookbook against the New York Times

03/24/2012 by OnTheRedCarpet.com Staff

Gwyneth Paltrow continued to defend herself against the New York Times claim that her cookbook had a ghostwriter, this time on "The Rachael Ray Show."

"You know normally I don't respond to gossip or anything," Paltrow told Ray via Skype from her London home. "But you know this is my professional life and I'm writing more cookbooks."

"Every single recipe in the book I came up with and I cooked on the spot," Paltrow continued. "I feel like it's important for the people who have responded so positively and interacted with me about my book, that they know that this is my book and I wrote my book and it's all mine."

The trouble started when the New York Times published an article on March 13 titled "I Was a Cookbook Ghostwriter," which looked into and featured the food writers behind books allegedly written by celebrity chefs like Rachel Ray, Mario Battali and Paula Deen.

Ray also denied that she used a ghostwriter, telling the audience that much of her time at home is spent scribbling in a notebook next to her stove.

Batali's publisher Daniel Halpern responded in a Tweet, writing, "For the record as [Mario Batali's] publisher of many yrs I can tell you he absolutely writes his books. As many 3am MB emails attest."

Towards the end of the article, it profiles a writer named Julia Turshen who is identified as "writing a second cookbook with Gwyneth Paltrow after their collaboration on 'My Father's Daughter'..." Paltrow's cookbook cover is also used as artwork for the piece.

Paltrow, 39, addressed the New York Times in a Tweet dated on March 17. "Love @nytimes dining section but this week's facts need checking," she wrote. "No ghost writer on my cookbook, I wrote every word myself."

Paltrow recently promoted the book during a March 2, 2012 episode of the ABC cooking series "The Chew." The show stars Chef Mario Batali who wrote the forward to "My Father's Daughter." Turshen co-authored Batali and Paltrow's book "Spain: A Culinary Road Trip."

The site CinemaBlend noted that Paltrow does acknowledge Turshen in an author's note written in "My Father's Daughter."

"I literally could not have written this book without the tireless, artful assistance of Julia Turshen, who stood over my shoulder at the stove and chopping block for the better part of a year, bringing a method to my free styling madness," Paltrow wrote. "She quantified, tested, and retested every recipe, oversaw the production of the photos, helped brainstorm in a crisis, and, above all, was my intellectual and emotional support through the whole process."

Turshen lists "My Father's Daughter" under "work" on her official website, however, she does not specify her role in the book's publishing process. Turshen also contributes to Paltrow's weekly lifestyle newsletter "GOOP."

In her contributor biography on the recipe website Epicurious, Turshen writes that she "assisted Ms. Paltrow on her new book 'My Father's Daughter,' and has written extensively for GOOP.com."

The New York Times stood by their article, issuing a statement to ABC News which read, "Our story was accurate and fair. It did not say that someone else wrote Rachael Ray's, Jamie Oliver's or Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbooks. It said that they, like many other chef/authors, had help."

Meanwhile, author Julia Moskin wrote a follow-up blog, where she acknowledged that the word "ghostwriting" holds a "strong stigma in the food world."

She also clarified that the task of food writing usually involves "transcribing scribbled notes into logical sentences" and "producing the routine bits of the book like the glossary and the guide to ingredients."

Watch a segment of Gwyneth Paltrow's appearance on "The Rachael Ray" show, via ABC News, below.

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