It’s hard to interview Martha Stewart without wanting to ask life advice of your own. When we shot Martha baking cakes, every single step she took was done so flawlessly. The glaze fell seamlessly, the wax-paper never slipped, and the frosting was nothing if not evenly distributed. Whatever Martha does, she does perfectly, which made us feel a little bit like food’s disorganized, irresponsible children. We’ve usually been fine with that stigma; we’re not bakers, and when we cook we fly by the seat of our pants. In the face of Martha though, we just wanted a hug, her approval, and the ability to frost a cake without flaws. I mean, can you blame us? It’s Martha. See our shoot and chat with America’s ultimate icon…
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
My ideal food day. It has to start with my green juice that I make myself, and that’s from vegetables and fruits that I grow. And then either a soft-boiled egg or a scrambled egg from my chickens. I like to know where my food comes from. Then for lunch, I would like a salad and a piece of, maybe, poached fish. That’s what I usually have at the office; somebody makes it for me. And then at night, Kurumazushi, Sushi Yasuda or EN Brasserie for Japanese food. And maybe a little sake by that time. That’s my ideal day.
What ingredient do you consider overrated?
Oh! Okay. An overrated ingredient…There are so many things in the grocery store that I would never ever buy. I mean, a lot. Factory-farmed meat – forget. Non-organic milk. And GMO [genetically modified] vegetables.
What’s one ingredient you recently rediscovered?
Something I recently rediscovered – Okra.
What do you think is the biggest entertaining faux-pas?
Over-producing and trying to be too expansive without expertise.
What do you always put out at a dinner party and what always do you bring to one as a guest?
I usually bring a dozen fresh eggs to my hostess or host, in a basket, because that’s something that’s special to me. And they love getting the fresh eggs and they have them for breakfast. Something that I always put out? I don’t put out snacks. I don’t put out hors d’oeuvres usually, because the dinner is, you know, very sufficient. I have good wine. I always have a good drink or good wine.
What won’t you travel without?
An iPad loaded with good movies and good books.
What’s always in your refrigerator?
In my refrigerator is always good butter, good milk, my vitamins, lemons, and usually oranges.
What are you favorite New York restaurants?
Well I mentioned three of them: Sushi Yasuda, Kurumazushi and EN Brasserie. And Daniel [Boulud] – any of his restaurants I love. And ABC Kitchen, Jean-Georges…isn’t he great? So those are some of my favorites. I have lots of favorites.
Oh you know who I love? I love Elm in New Canaan, Connecticut. Brian Lewis is doing a great job. We had a great dinner there the other night. Really nice.
Who hasn’t come over for dinner yet that you still want to host?
Well, President Clinton and Mrs. Clinton have not come over for dinner. They came for cappuccino but they haven’t come for dinner. I would like them to come. They’re big talkers; I love that. And who else…in the neighborhood? I haven’t had Ralph Lauren over for dinner. He’s come for parties, but he hasn’t come for dinner.
Is there one thing that you know now that you wish you’d known when you started?
*Martha Stewart, photographed in New York City by Danielle Kosann