Cookbook wives: pet projects of the rich and famously married

Katie Lee (Joel)-
After meeting her now ex-husband Billy at 22, Joel launched a career in food. There was the short-lived hosting gig on "Top Chef," followed by her first book of recipes at 26.
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Thu, Oct 6, 2011 3:56 PM EDT
Jessica Seinfeld says her chicken parmesan made Jerry fall in love with her. "He couldn't believe he'd met a girl who actually cooks," she tells Goop. Really? Cooking seems to be a requirement if you're going to marry a celebrity.

Is it just a coincidence that every non-famous wife of a major celebrity has a cookbook? They can't all have a culinary degree. And they don't. But being wife and mother of a celebrity household, is credibility enough. It can't hurt that their famous husbands help with press opportunities and superstar pals like Gwyneth Paltrow and Oprah join in the media dissemination. Seinfeld's gotten non-stop press for her first book about cooking for kids--some good, some bad. And now she's pushing forward in her cooking career with a new website and a second cookbook for busy moms.

She's part of a movement of celeb wives whose side project du jour has shifted from jewelry lines and baby boutiques to culinary endeavors. Strangely, the homemakers of the rich and famous have a lot of advice for us non-rich and non-famous. Here's what they figured out: cooking is easy, you don't need much time, shopping for low-fat, hormone-free produce is a cinch, and everyone can and should love everything you eat always.

While they may think their family dynamic is relatable, celebrity wives have far more staff and far fewer financial woes than the rest of us. Some also have their own vegetable gardens. In reality, the prototypical celebrity wife is a throwback to happy homemaker of the 1950s. Her husband earns the living, and a good living at that, while she manages the home and kids, dabbling in charity work and trying out creative recipes when she finds the time. So it's odd, then, that so many of these famous wives claim they've solved the problems of modern motherhood. To many of them, some of life's biggest problems are still in the kitchen.