There's no doubt that Martha Stewart is the most formidable homemaking entrepreneur of today. But with hundreds of new blogs, home crafters, and new kitchen celebrities, who will be the Martha of tomorrow?
Well we think a new generation is about to give the queen of all good things a run for her money. These seven multi-tasking chefs and modern homemakers are redefining what it means to be a domestic deity.
1. Marthas on the Farm: The Fabulous Beekman Boys
It's Green Acres for the new millennium: An urban couple—writer Josh Kilmer-Purcell (left) and former Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia VP Brent Ridge (right)—move up to New York's Hudson Valley and become organic farmers. In their hilarious yet inspiring reality show on the Discovery Channel's Planet Green network, the Beekman Boys try their hand at making soap, ice cream, and cheese; chase pigs; and deliver goat kids. So much more satisfying than dressing up tin buckets with decoupaged candy wrappers.
2. Australian Martha: Donna Hay
Like the original Martha, Australian food stylist and author Donna Hay is a multitalented entrepreneur who offers inspirational cooking, homemaking, and craft advice. Her food and housewares lines are hugely popular in her native country, and with an upcoming Royal Doulton collaboration, she's poised to expand to the United States, where her cookbooks and magazine are already best sellers. Relatable to working moms with limited time and budgets, Hay focuses on helping her readers brighten the lives they actually live.
3. Eco Martha: Danny Seo
Born on Earth Day (natch), eco-stylist Danny Seo has devoted his career to the idea that caring for the environment can go hand in hand with fabulous entertaining, cooking, decorating, and homemaking. Via his Simply Green series of books, DailyDanny.com, contributions to Better Homes and Gardens, product lines (including partnerships with JCPenney and Method), and television appearances (he recently showed up on HGTV's Red Hot & Green), Seo dispenses lifestyle tips while emphasizing his message that small changes are the first step toward helping the environment.
4. Indie Marthas: The Canal House
Equally well known for their books and how they produce them, Canal House's high-power duo of Saveur magazine founder and photographer Christopher Hirsheimer (left) and recipe developer/food stylist Melissa Hamilton (right) created the tri-annual Canal House cookbooks without the help of a major publishing house. Each volume features seasonal recipes and gorgeous photography that make the books as good for the coffee table as for the kitchen. Exerting complete control over their own creative, production, and distribution process, Hirsheimer and Hamilton can stay true to themselves—and their readers.
5. Hollywood Martha: Lulu Powers
Celebrity caterer Lulu Powers started her Los Angeles company in 1994 and has since grown to be one of the most in-demand party pros among Hollywood's A-list. In her new book, Lulu Powers: Food to Flowers, she translates her high-end style into practical tips and recipes for home entertaining. We doubt you'd ever find the perfectly coiffed Powers in Wellingtons, digging in the garden, à la the original Martha, but as a stylish West Coast alternative, she ensures that readers feel they can throw a glamorous party with relative ease.
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