WATCH: Gwyneth Paltrow & Rachael Ray Slam Cookbook Ghostwriting Claims

Paltrow Skypes in to Ray's talk show to say that her cookbook is "all mine," while Ray tells iVillage that she writes "every word of my books"

Gwyneth Paltrow and Rachael Ray are not pleased by the continued insistence by New York Times writer Julia Moskin that they employed ghostwriters to help them complete their cookbooks.

In fact, Paltrow is so peeved by the whole situation that she Skyped in to Friday's episode of Ray's talk show, Rachael, to set the record straight on the matter. Watch Paltrow and Ray's exchange in the video below!
 


"Every single recipe in the cookbook, I came up with and cooked on the spot," Paltrow says. "This is my book, I wrote it, and it's all mine."

"It doesn't mean you don't value the people that write the glossary or that help organize the pantry or that help organize the project," Ray responds to Paltrow. "But a writer is still a writer."

Ray, meanwhile, also tells iVillage exclusively that she can understand how The New York Times got things confused -- but insists that she has never used a ghostwriter.

"I love the Times, I remain a lover of the Times, but they got it wrong," she told iVillage Thursday night at an event to promote her latest cookbook. "I can see how it happened. You know, I gave them the name of Wes, who is my food stylist. He talked to them at great length about getting inside my skin to do my styling, so I can see how somebody thought he was only talking about the writing. I write every word in my books."

And while Ray doesn't discount the contributions of stylists, recipe testers and editors who help get her books to the masses, she says that she alone is responsible for her recipes and stories. "I keep a little notebook with me where I write down ideas," she explains. "I type them up in the morning after the gym or at night when I get home. I have 15 years worth of notebooks."

So if both Paltrow and Ray are so adamant that they didn't work with ghostwriters, does that mean Moskin is wrong? Well, it seems like the big problem at play here is a misunderstanding of the definition of three terms: "ghostwriter" versus "ghost-cooker" (someone else who comes up with the recipes for a celebrity chef) versus "editor."

"Ghost-cooking is rarer than the routine work of wrestling hot, messy, complicated recipes onto the page in comprehensible English... That is cookbook ghostwriting, as I and many others have experienced it," Julia Moskin, the author of the New York Times article that kick-started this whole debate, wrote in a follow-up article. "The food itself, and the story that surrounds it, usually comes from the chef in varying stages of page-readiness."

So while Moskin doesn't accuse Paltrow and Ray of using ghost-cookers, she is sticking to her guns that they've employed ghostwriters.

Moskin previously identified Julia Turshen as Paltrow's ghostwriter, and it does seem like Turshen assisted Paltrow on her cookbook My Father's Daughter in some way; Turshen lists the cookbook in her online resume and even wrote an article about it for Food & Wine.

Still, whether Turshen was a ghostwriter or just a very involved editor is unclear. There's such a fine distinction between the two when it comes to cookbook writing that this debate could rage without resolution ad nauseum. And, since we're not too keen on that, we'd like to quote a man we think has the right way to looking at things: sometime cookbook co-author Andrew Friedman.

"Fans want to experience the personality they adore in the best way possible and couldn't care less who actually wrote it," Friedman wrote in a recent blog post. "Just as they don't care who writes the script, operates the camera, or does the editing for the personalities' television shows." Can we just leave it at that?

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