Critics did not go easy on Pippa Middleton's first book, "Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends." When you're under 30, armed with a six-figure book deal, and best known for your behind and your royal sister, the backlash is to be expected.
First look at Pippa's party book
What was not expected was Pippa's response to critics. After largely skipping out on book-related press appearances, Pippa finally opened up about "Celebrate" and her reasons behind creating it on Sunday. Her defense took the form of an essay, published in the The Telegraph—the same publication that gave her book one star (out of a possible five).
"I'm a real foodie—something, I think, not a lot of people know about me," she begins.
Pippa goes on to discuss elaborate recipes she's tackled for dinner parties—from slow-braised pig's cheek to pigeon-breast salad and venison stew.
Facing criticism over uninventive recipes and lackluster party tips, Middleton explains she kept those types of recipes—which she says she totally has in her arsenal—out of the book on purpose.
Pippa Middleton opens up about her surprising fame
"I could have written a book that showcased the most extravagant or elaborate of occasions—after all, I spent three years working for an events company planning parties—but I wanted to produce something that was achievable; something that people would have on their shelves for years; something that was not too fussy—just simple and comforting," she claims.
Unfortunately, most critics mistook "comforting" for a certain lack of experience.
"It is clear that by writing the book Pippa set out to prove that there is far more to her than her pert bottom. But the fact is, there isn't," a critic for the Irish Sun wrote.
In Pippa's rebuttal, she sets out to prove there is more, and of course there is. (The many quips about her behind in critical assessments of her book do more to discredit the critic than the book's author.)
Pippa's essay details her prior experience as a pub kitchen assistant, as a junior hostess backing up her mom's gala events, and as a master of ceremonies for a friendly New Year's Eve dinner party.
"Last year, I created a Scandinavian-themed party for 30 friends and family with a Nordic dress code and Swedish menu," she writes.
You could say Pippa was trained in the Culinary school of Gwyneth Paltrow. Both are better known on the red carpet, than in the kitchen and have had to defend their lack of kitchen authority to food critics. But, if Paltrow's bestseller has proven anything, it's that people like a celebrity cookbook, especially one with pictures.
Pippa's book has a lot of that, though it also has a lot of obvious advice about keeping cake fresh ("in an airtight tin") and pouring hot drinks into mugs rather than glasses. Middleton seems hurt by comments that her book lacks substance.
"Celebrate, my book on entertaining, has been a labour of love," she writes. "I have put my heart and soul into it, obsessing over every detail. "
If the critics didn't have kind words for Pippa's book, the fans did. On Amazon, more than one happy customer comes to her defense.
"I can't believe all the bad reviews this book is getting," an Amazon reviewer. "I think it's just jealousy. It's a beautiful book with simple, easy to manage ideas… Get over it, geez."