Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode 27 · 6 months ago

WB S1E27: Amy Phillips and Chef Stuart O'Keefe

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

WRITERS' BLOCK: Comedian Amy Phillips and Chef Stuart O'Keefe talk with Ron about the delectable cookbook parody the two have put together. They also talk about their mutual adoration of anything Real Housewives!

...like the marinated kebabs in the bathroom, right? Like that recipe like you know like we actually went downstairs and actually shot that in the bathroom and I was like wait, that's so weird but I'm like the type of the recipe it comes from the show when she says that across the table were like no, it's just being there in the bathroom lisa please, how could you? And Kyle is like, are you kidding me right now, lisa seriously and of course it's like rina, I have kids, are you serious? It was epic moments, was brilliant. Welcome to the Friends and fiction Writer's Block podcast. Four new york times, bestselling authors, one rock star librarian and endless stories joined mary Kay andrews, Kristin, Harmel, Kristy, Woodson, harvey and Patti Callahan Henry along with Ron block as novelists, we are four long time friends with 70 books between us and I am Ron block. Please join us for fascinating author interviews and insider talk about publishing and writing if you love books and are curious about the writing world you are in the right place. Welcome to a delicious and hysterical episode of Friends and fiction Writer's Block podcast. We continue to explore storytelling in all its many forms and today we're really going out there because we're going to explore through cooking cookbooks and comedy. My guest today are the authors of a brand new hilarious cookbook cook it, spill it, throw it the not so real housewives parody cookbook. I know we're going to have an absolute blast with our guests and authors of this amazing cookbook Stuart o'keeffe and amy phillips before we get going, I'm going to tell you a little bit about them so that you're all set, the stage is set for them to come and join me and we're going to take it from there. First Stuart O'keeffe is an irish born California based chef and best selling author, he appears frequently on tv starring in food network shows such as Private Chefs of Beverly Hills and Let's Eat and he has appeared as a judge on chopped in addition to numerous appearances on today and Rachel ray, where he offers fun, simple recipes to get home cooks into the kitchen. His first cookbook, the Quick Six fix was released in 2000 and 16 by harpercollins. Say that quick, my next guest is Amy phillips who is a comedian and radio personality from grosse pointe michigan, she's currently living her best life in Los Angeles. Amy honed her skills at Wayne State University and at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in new york city before studying improv at Second city Detroit Chicago, in the annoyance theater, she combines her love for reality tv and parody with her celebrated real housewives and other celeb imitations which are a regular feature on bravo tv's watch what happens live with Andy Cohen Amy currently recaps, all things bravo tv and beyond on her Sirius XM radio show on radio Andy reality checked. Welcome to of you, this is like I'm going to try not to fan out out here. I'm just so excited to talk to you. I'm excited to talk to you. Oh my gosh! Thank you so much for having us. What a nice marriage. My pleasure. And you know, isn't it? But I'm going to start with just the book. I know you, the people are listening can't see this book, but this book is the whole package. It's everything. It's hysterically funny. I got an early copy as soon as I opened it and saw the eggs ahlu francais recipe Stewart's favorite. You have to go there right now. Just like with the people that are listening, like basically there's a photograph with me in a wig and a robe and sunglasses. We have to start it off. Right. Yeah, that's how we enter. Uh we had to do it. And and I also want to say to that anybody, this is not just a joke cookbook at all. Because in addition to the comedy and the just the sheer joy that you're going to get from it. The recipes are brilliant. I have made several things out of it already and it is to die for. I can't wait to hear. And of course I want to hear about those. Oh yeah, Well, I mean we're dying to hear. Yeah. Experience. I started small with scared. No, no, no, no, no, no. I started out small with you stole my goddamn house salad, lovely. Solid. Right, right. I don't love the name of it too. And I just...

...that's hysterical. The titles of the recipes are all just amazing. So it's anyway, we're gonna talk about how you came up with all of those. But I also made blueberry muffins so solid, so taste good. So good. Ron like die for that. Like the topping at the end and bacon that's crumbling and it's the best. Yes, yes. My my husband has now gained about £25. Yeah, thank you. I agree. And that Yeah. I mean, we're like making a cookbook in the pandemic. We both gained. I mean, I tell you I gained like 15 and then I had to lose it for this press tour. I was like and then we're trying to shoot the cookbook anyway, we'll get there. Yeah, it was good. Anyway, so we'll talk about some of the other ones as we go along. But I really I want everybody to hear about first. We want to talk about how each of you became obsessed with the housewives because I'm right there with you. And I think we share like a brain where people would say you know what morons, but also be my best friend and you love him, you hate him, you love to hate him. You hate to love them. You know, it's it's a real dichotomy. I mean for me it was I I some stumbled upon the real housewives. My gateway drug was really the Rachel Zoe project on bravo. I started watching the Rachel Zoe project back in the day and I did an impersonation of her and I had some videos out there with that, just like Rachel's, oh grocery shopping, being like, oh my god, I, these bananas are bananas, and then from there after watching the original project, I started watching the real housewives of new york and I then it was done and then I just got into all of the cities and all of the shows. How about you, Stuart? I wondered what yeah, I mean, first of all, like how I know Amy's from her doing Rachel Zoe, so I, I I know she existed back in the day and I just thought those videos were just so funny and I loved Rachel's or product product product project and uh I think yeah, it was kind of like one of those things that you see the advertisements for like the housewives and stuff like that, and then I started watching new york, my friend was would watch oh see, so I kind of watch a bit of that too, and I was kind of jumping around at the beginning watching it, like a lot of them, but not like focusing in like, oh my God, I need to be here every week watching this and then it was like kind of as it got to second season two of them, I kind of really dove in and I was like, oh my God, this is amazing, like some of the fights are just incredible and it's just like, it's just like what's it like feel good tv but like it kind of is, it's like you know, you just laugh Yeah, it's an escape totally. Is, it totally is. So it's funny, you both kind of entered it through new york, I think Ramona would be so happy to hear that. 100%, I mean she's the first impression that I ever did, of of the housewives. I'm just gonna say your impressions are spot on hysterical and I can't get enough, Oh my God, thank you so much. Okay, Ramona really does support women, I will tell you that first and foremost, she was so supportive of my impression of her was you know, basically he kind of had the idea to go on watch what happens live with her together, She called me and was like you know what I said, you should go watch what happens live with me and you'll be promoting I'll be Ramona, we wrote it together and so she really was, I mean she did not mind the parody, she embraced it and kind of set the tone I think frankly, so she was great, that's awesome and then from there you just went, ooh, I just can't stop, won't stop with impressions. I know, I know you're in for all the cities, all the iterations of everything, how about the ultimate girls trip, Oh my gosh, wow, it is really good. I've only watched the first episode, I'm okay. You too. So I'm recapping it on my show. So we're gonna do one episode at a time and I think it is what we've been waiting for and, and more. They really blew it up. They really made it very um glossy and the music and the editing and I think they made it extra special, which I appreciate. And it seems so surreal because just as somebody who's been doing parodies of them for so long and I do parodies on my radio show where there were other housewives are interacting with other housewives and other cities. And so now it's like, it's actually happening with Ramona being like, you know what? I'm really sorry. Yeah. And like what you said about me, that was very nice. So it's like I've been living this on my, in my own vacuum for years and now I'm watching it happen before my eyes. It's so amazing. Yeah, it's like we all got together and made this big wish to have this happen and and now it's here and it was like, I was kind of like when I watch the theater the other day, I was like, I still know how this is gonna go, do you know what I mean? Because they're all from different cities. Like they say they kind of know each other, but it's like putting them together and...

...it seems to be like, we're getting we're getting entertainment right? It's probably our the first episode is any indication I'm sold, sold, sold sold. Okay, So we're actually here about the book, but we'll just throw these other things in a little bit so I can't even imagine how brilliant the two minds were to come together to do this. What's the beginning of the book? How did it start? Whose idea was it? That's all Stuart baby. It was my crazy idea. I was like 2019. I said run summer august. And I was like sitting on the couch and I did my first cookbook and I was like, okay, I need the second one, like, what am I going to do next? Like, what am I going to dive into? And I was like, I want something like, like fun that people are just gonna get obsessed about and so forth. I was watching the housewives, I was like, has anyone done a cookbook on housewives? Like, just kind of like a fun cookbook? Like, the recipes are real, but like, it's comedy, it's fun, we're poking fun at them and so forth. And I was like, and then I went on amazon did some research, couldn't find anything, googled everything, couldn't find anything. I would find the housewives, their separate cookbooks, like tree tree and there was nothing. So I was like, this could be something could be something here took it to my age and I was like, look, I had this idea, I pitched it and then I needed the mastermind of amy phillips because I needed the comedy and I needed somebody that was like, you know, I mean, I knew she recapped on her show daily, so I was like, okay, she must know all the details of the ins and outs of these and she, you know, she talks like them, she parodies them. And I was like, she was just like the best person to get this. And so I was like, please find her and ask her shows up in my window at night knocking on it. It was it was very organic, he just reached out to me and it was like, I was like a housewife's cookbook, what? And then it just all, it was like, you know that moment where everything's kind of blurry and then it's just sharp focus, just instantaneously. I'm like, oh my God, everything that happens in the housewives, it all happens around food. It all happens when they're drinking, it all happens when there's a restaurant, it all happens when they're celebrating. Like, this is I can't believe this hasn't been done yet, why hasn't it been done? We have to do this. And so I I said, I was like, yes, absolutely. And it and it's beyond what I thought it would be. Um but what, what a delight. And I'm always so grateful to you Stewart for bringing me along with you on this journey because how unexpected, you know? Yeah, I mean, look, if I, if you'd gotten back a few years of what, 10 years, like when she was doing Rachel Zoe and whats up that we'd be here now, if you ask me like five years ago and after my first cookbook, my second one's gonna be a housewives one, like, no, like, like Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. Right, Exactly. It's mild, That's true, and I'm so, I'm so glad to know that because I was assuming that you two have been longtime friends. Well we became friends. Yeah, and it's wild too because we, we became really fast friends really quick and it's been so seamless, you know, I mean our chemistry, I think it was the vibe was there from the get go, which made the whole process very easy to create in that space where it's like we just get each other and it just has been a real dance, you know, just call ginger Rogers and fred Astaire food and comedy. What maybe they were like, the more ridiculous, it is like the more we just crack up over things, you know, it's just really funny, just daily basis that that's the best partnerships. Yeah, that's what you can do that and you have that symbiotic really nice, It's great. So in addition to the recipes, which I've talked about a little bit and I want to dive in a little bit more about the creation of them. But the look of the book, the look of the book is just so, like, first we have both of you wearing fabulous costumes. The photography is excellent. Um the dishes look amazing. So, talk to me about putting all that look of the book together. That was exciting. What a journey. What that was. That was so funny. That's a really good question. Um Ron because I was so specific, remember, amy, at the very beginning, I knew, you know, a lot of people do. It's like a trend right now with photographs where there's a lot of shadow. You see those like, they're kind of like, hi pop pop art and it's like, yeah, and I was like, okay, that's what I don't want. I just want these like beautiful, rich, colorful photographs and we were almost gonna like separated out like through city and like the vibe of each city and do that. And I was like, maybe that's not gonna work because they're gonna be sprinkled throughout the book and we're not gonna section it off into cities. So I was like, look, it just needs to be a really bright, vibrant, it's pop culture book. I want everything to be beautiful. So, I mean, I love doing, you know, food styling and stuff that I've done it. I do it sometimes. And so that's artistic part of it was really important to me and I really think we pulled it off. It is I mean when I got...

...the book in my hand for the first time, you're just so like you're just so fed up of looking at a pdf file for so long and then you actually physically, because it looks totally different from a pdf file than when the actual, like the ink dries on the page. Like it becomes richer, it's darker and you don't see that on the screen. So it was I was super happy with the way it came out. Well, there were two real phases of the creation of the book, which is that we had the food photography and then we had the lifestyle photography, which is us creating specific moments from the book of the dishes that we selected and then dressing up as those characters and acting them out. So it was a bizarre book. And it was so interesting to work with our editor because we were like, oh yeah, these are you know, this is not just your regular cookbook. This is like it's so different because like it's not just food, then we have to like put us in it and create these moments. It was such a process of trying to figure out how we're going to do that. And then also marry the two together so that it looks like it belongs. You know? And I think that the photographers did such an amazing job, Hollywood photography, that's their name, home with photography, did the food, and then Stewart actually did a few photos himself and then the Record brothers did the lifestyle footage. So I just think that it was we were really, really super duper hands on with everything. We got our hands and everything so that we made it just right. And it was it was so worth it to because every piece of detail that we put our thought into, I think it really paid off. And and with that, the photographers were so amazing and Angela Gaines, who was the food stylist, um and Stewart, we had a hand in that as well. Like just everyone came together and were able to kind of make this vision happen with comedy and wit in the photos along with the food, you know, without it being too corny. And we were always often trying to ride that, we were kind of riding the fence a little bit for like, that's too much, let's pull back or that's not enough, you know? And like Stewart would be like, I don't want, you know, hands in my food, you know what I'm saying? Like, I don't want it to look dirty. So there was like, certain things like clip clip clip medley of dip dip dips, you know, it was like, I, you know, I was like, should I put my clip my hand and that if he's like, we're not putting hands in food. Like, even though these are messy, let's just pull back from that. There were certain things that we didn't want to cross those boundaries to make it still look really beautiful and appetizing. Yeah, like the, like just like the marinated kebabs in the bathroom, right? Like that recipe, like, you know, like we actually went downstairs and actually shot that in the bathroom and I was like, wait, that's so weird. But I'm like the title of the recipe, it comes from the show when she says that across the table were like, no in the bathroom, how lisa, please. How could you? And Kyle is like, are you kidding me right now, lisa seriously. And of course it's like Kyle, I mean Reena Reena, I have kids, are you serious? It was epic. It was brilliant. Oh, how much fun is that? I mean you haven't had to have had a a blast. We really did. It was fun times. There was hard times. Yeah, it was challenging. It was challenging. Yeah, because it wasn't just the food photography, you know, doing the lifestyle was really involved and it was in the middle of covid, so we couldn't have a lot of people helping. Um, and it was very challenging to get like locations and things like that. So we had a lot of hurdles to jump over. But you know, it was also worth it. I'll agree with that 125% or what does a 100%. So it came across to what what I talk about often is how things that you don't normally think of a storytelling becomes storytelling. You told amazing stories with each recipe. Not only did you tell a story of the food and the dish and the things coming together, but your introduction to each one and your picture, it all creates uh people wanting to know more. And that's what the best storytelling is is when, when you want to explore more. So I would say people that don't even necessarily know a lot about the housewives should get their hands on this and it's going to entice you to dig in deeper. Thanks for saying that. Yeah, it was, it was so, um you know, of course I did do a lot of research and go back to these iconic moments in the Housewives history and so I went deep into the archives and revisited these moments and just got immersed in them so that I could walk myself through them in order to remind people what that experience was and how it ties into the food dish. And so that was just quite a celebration to go back and just revisit these amazing moments. And then also there's so many details to these moments. So you have to write and be concise was very difficult. I mean it started very long and I just...

...had a and the editor was so great, just like, let's trim this down, let's just like, you know, let's get to the point, let's just make it a connection with the food. The moment has to connect with the food, there has to be a correlation and that was the biggest challenge because some recipes, we were like, yeah, I don't, I don't see how Sheree Whitfield really, there's nothing here that connects to cranberry sauce, like what are we doing? You know I mean? So you can't really shoehorn something in. Um you have to find a kind of find an organic way to get there. And sometimes that was a challenge. But it was also a beautiful process of, of combining the two things together. We found our way through it like, Yeah, because a lot of, sometimes I was like, I really want to do this dish and I really want to have this chicken dish in there. And amy was like, Stuart like, I love you, like, I want to put it in there too, but I just can't make it like sink, you know, to a scene or do a housewife or to a moment and I'm like, no, like what you know about uh yeah, we'll put that in your next cookbook. Yes, part two, Part two. So is there a recipe that you can think of? That was really challenging and kind of walk us through the process of the thought to the end product of putting it in the book. It's a good question. Trying to think now let me think about that on the spot. But you know, that's a really good question of one that we really kept going back to the drawing board and try to make it work with the dungeon cake. The one with the dungeon cake might be one the clam chowder, Manhattan clam chowder. The manzo kati because steve sauce maybe. Yeah, because we had there were a couple ideas around Caroline Manzo from Jersey and we had it was something else that we had there for man Zuccotti was, but we landed on Manzo Kati and then marrying that scotty, we thought it was manicotti wasn't it? And that there was another, there was another recipe that we were going to do for Manzo, but I can't remember. Well, okay, so we'll cut that, cut that. Right. Um, we Manzo kati was a fun one because we were trying to figure out what Caroline manzo, we we know we knew we needed to have it be like kind of an italian dish. So how do you find something that has um, you know Caroline manzo influence? And is italian? So that one took a lot of time and we knew it was gonna be a two parter because we came up with thick as thieves sauce, which will be the sauce for it. And then we made a separate dish, which is like man Zuccotti. And then you put the two together and it's like man Zuccotti with thick as thieves sauce. So that was a pretty layered thing because yeah, even just like looking at them because that was one of the later recipes because we had to shoot that separately because we just didn't have it together. Remember at the time when we kept going back and forth? I do love like for potomac, we came up with potato, mac and cheese with crab and that's a great dish. Run that by the way. I love that one. Next up, is it okay? Because that was good. That sounds good for like, thanksgiving and holidays and stuff. Um but that was one where it's like, again, Stewart wanted to do like a Maryland um fried chicken, like a Maryland chicken recipe. And I was like, but it doesn't scream potomac. No one will get it. Even though I know that it's a Maryland chicken and people in Maryland eat it, but it still doesn't tie in and it has to have potomac in it in some way. And so that's how we rotated around the sun on that one. And then landed with potomac and cheese with crab and then out with the chicken, sorry. So which works way, which is way better and see how it happens. It happens. Yeah. Yeah. They're just so creative. And the pictures and everybody get yourself a copy of this. So I know from being kind of on the inside how long it actually takes for a book to go from idea to publication, how long of a process was this for you. So it seems to be going pretty expediently then Covid sort of hit. So that did back things up a bit, but Stewart, what was the timeline from you could say? I remember having This kept, I was talking about highly in New York just last two days ago and I think I had a brief conversation with her in like summer 2019 about it and she was like, that's a really good idea, should hold on to that. So it's probably from there, but then pitched it probably in August Met you in September because I have a photograph of us that when we first met and it kind of so from we'll say like, you know, summer 2019 and here it is now. It's out in November 2021. So like that's the time span. We probably would have pushed it. It would have been, yeah, it would've been like yeah, yeah, there you go any further because of pandemic got pushed to november, which is fine. It all worked out great. Yeah. And then I think they also kind of as we they saw come together, I feel like they were like, wait a minute, this is actually could be a great fall gift book. And that was...

...another thing too. And they were like, yeah, and you know, and they were like, and it's hard and I know from bringing out my first cookbook, I know it's hard to bring out a book in the fall because a lot of people bring out their books in the fall, especially cookbooks and you're up against the competition. So I felt, I felt so proud that they thought our book was good enough for me to believe. And I know, I agree that was because it was intimidating to think like, oh my gosh, oh no, now we're going to be like, what do we do we belong here? Oh, you more than belong here. Trust me. I so one of the things that I loved seeing as you did an unboxing of the final copies and you were earlier Stewart thing you get sick of looking at on the pdf page a little bit. But what is it like when you actually opened your baby up and hold it? It does feel like a baby, it does feel like that is the perfect way to say how this as a Stuart you tell me because you, now you've experienced is twice, what was that? What was it like for you? The first time I just, I think I kind of like, like wept a small tear, I was kind of like, oh my God, this is so because I've always wanted, you know, like a few years ago and then, but this is like different, it's like, this is like, I really felt like we created something special Like my first football find six ingredients, six minutes. Like there's stuff out there like that already and you know, everyone does kind of different things like that. But this was like this is so unique. I really felt like wow, I said we really created something really beautiful and like when I opened it and looked through it, I just was like, wow, this is really cool and it's hilarious and it's just, it's just on a different level than my first one, if that makes sense. Yeah, when I, when I got the book, I was just like, I can't even, I think I'm still a little bit of state of shock because as a comedian and someone, I am not a writer, I mean I'm a comedy writer but only by necessity, I do not, I mean so so to, to have this opportunity to have to like write this up. I'm like again, is this a club that I even am allowed in? So I just feel very humbled by it. And so when I get this book and I'm like, I can't even believe that this even exists and that my name was on this book and this is just wild. Um and when I saw the pictures we were doing the food photography and when things were coming together like went with the, who gon check me blue cheese buffalo dip and when I saw the magic that was happening and on the screen when they were shooting the photos, I was like, oh my gosh, this is really happening. So that was my first entrance into discovering, wow! Like this is real. Then of course the next step was getting this book and just my mind is just blown. I'm still, I'm still initiative chakra. Can't believe it enjoy every minute of the journey. Well I am, I think it's going to be a very long one. So buckle up. So what put together like a perfect meal. The book is not just about these dishes, it's also about desserts and it's about, yes, it's cocktails and oh my God, the scary island cocktail. We have these amazing menus in the back of the book which are so for for you, for your to answer your question. We've got all these menus, we've got like a game night menu. We've got a, a bachelorette party. We've got, it's called floating Island bachelorette menu. We have a shady tea party menu, a pool party menu, a dinner party from hell menu, a brunch menu. And we have a bravo, bravo fucking bravo, dinner party menu. Um and so that one is a good mix of all the different cities which, which Stuart and I painstakingly put together because it was like, we need to have each city represented in this, in this menu. So it's like, you start with cocktails like nine lemons in a bowl, party punch and that's the Orange County and then you've got the grand marnier cosmopolitan and that's potomac. And then you move on to appetizers and you've got the ultimate, you've got housewives, party platter and that has all a bunch of different cities. You've got everything there that we put together and that's like in the middle of the book. And then you've got beautiful too, by the way, You like that picture? Yeah. Plus it had the, what are you doing here without deviled eggs? Yes. What are you doing here for several days? And then you've got oysters, Ramona feller and then for mains, um we selected, who said that sesame salmon and then scary island skirt steak, skirt, steak and scary island skirt steak and Jill's marinade word on the street corn and for dessert, Ding dong dungeon cake. I mean it is a luscious delicious menu. I mean I, I would eat this all day long. I would too, I'm ready to and also in the back you have the menus for each city. So people could have a party of like a premiere night party for when, when a new season comes down. You can make all those things and you know, your brain's going here, watch party would be awesome. Okay, so veering off just a little bit, Who do you think it's the...

...best cook among the housewives. Oh, great question. I'm going, I'm going straight to Jersey. It's probably either Caroline manzo or Teresa. I'm also gonna say Kathy Kiely from um so like they, Teresa has what like six cookbooks? She's got she's got like three or four cookbooks and then she's got a regular table flipping books in her memoirs and stuff like that. And um so I have cooked things from Teresa's cookbook and I found them to be great. So now Caroline manzo does not have a cookbook. However, I just saw on her instagram that during the pandemic she put together for her for her family as they say family, a cookbook for recipes for her family. And I would imagine at some point she'll probably have to, you know, get a published cookbook because she doesn't have one. Kathy Kiely has a cookbook and she really special specializes in deserts. And hers is amazing. She's an incredible cook, incredible cook. So I am straight to Jersey. What do you think Stewart? I would probably same as you like Jersey Teresa. I mean look, she's like four cookbooks are best sellers. I mean what more do you need? It's like right there. I mean, I always love the egg with luann with the eggs. I know he's like luann's best because of her eggs and then there's Bethany and Bethany is a great cook too. I mean obviously she's amazing. So props there and I have her cookbook and I made stuff out of hers as well. Yeah. Are there any that you would either be really happy to or afraid to cook alongside of? Yes, a lot. What's going to happen? I want to make those eggs with luann someday, definitely going to happen. Well, I'm there for that. I think Adrienne Maloof, we wouldn't want to cook alongside of her. We saw what she did. She put soap on the chicken and that's why we have soapy lemon chicken, Ala Adrian, which by the way, Stuart, tell them about, oh God stop. So I worked at Adrienne's house for like three months because I did like, I do like sometimes I'll do like dinner parties. I'm kind of like phasing out of it now. But I did it for like 10 years, 10 or 12 years here in Beverly Hills. And then there was like one, somebody called me, they're like, hey, like Adrienne Maloof is looking for a chef in the house and I'm like, hmm at the time I had this gap in my schedule and I was like, money's money, right? So I was like, why not? Instead of caviar, what is it? They're like, it's just dinner, it's like her and the kids, whatever. I was like, okay, that'll be fine, be easy, it was fine, it was fine. And I was like done after three months and it was okay good. I'm glad to hear that. Really don't have any idea how it's gonna go and in your life. So I saw that you gifted copies of the book to some of the house ways, but also you've got some advanced praise from them on the back, can you talk about their reactions and where they all lovely and positive or oh, they were so no, they were Margaret Josephs. Can we just, She's amazing. First of all, the powerhouse, the big tails, you know what I mean? I like to promote people like just the poor people, I like business, like she has been so supportive, it's unbelievable. She gave us an amazing blurb on the back of the book. She loves the recipes we made for her, which is your husband's in the Poland. And then we also have hit enough urban tomato bruschetta. So she was so, she was so supportive and has been touting it on her instagram. She even brought it on, amazon live her amazon store and um she was great, also heather do bro, she was amazing, she has been so supportive of this book and gave us a wonderful quote and has been very, very supportive, luann did a video, she's there. Cynthia bailey. Oh my God, she when when I reached out to her for a quote, she was like, oh my God, this is amazing, I've never like, I've never heard of something like this before, Count me in and it was incredible to me how quickly these housewives, you know, when you think they're so busy and they're not, they're not going to get back to you, they're like excited about this idea. So we're very humbled Kyle Richards has been so supportive, they're all fantastic. I'm so glad to hear that because it could have gone the other way. Oh yeah, I know. Well and there's there was a list of housewives that I wanted to reach out to and a large list that I was not going to reach out to. So you know, I mean, I had a very specific ones that I wanted to reach out to for a reason. Um and these are the ones list them all right now. No, that was I just a little fun side fact. I used to live in florida and there was always a big women's show and I was doing a book with a famous author and we created a dish that went along with her book and I got a phone call from my friend who was the publicist goes, could you bring some of your gnocchi back here? And I'm going in the back and I fed Teresa, you fed Teresa judy J yeah, yeah, yeah. So walk me through this a little more...

...first time. First time shaking of course because it's Teresa, you know, and she had her assistant with her. So I brought enough back for both of them. We talked for a little bit and she tried and she's like holding it up like this and I'm not trying to be you, but I can't hear their, I can't talk about them without saying that we got to do it, she's like um these are good but um they're a lot bigger than the ones I make. Okay, whatever you say, whatever you say my gosh, consider that a compliment. Like a blessing. That's my run in saying, I cannot. I mean, who can say they fed Teresa? I wish I could say that. Well, I think I have a feeling that this is going to be your entry. I'm going to have to ask now now and I know that she's open to it. Yeah. Anyway, if you're putting together a dinner party of housewives like they, for the ultimate girls trip, who would it be? Oh, that's such a good question, Stuart what would it be? Okay? I'd like Vicki there, definitely. I want you want because it's my favorite um Mhm Kyle, trisha, kenya, I really liked her on a girls trip, I've really like really taken to her um Oh my God, it's like a Margaret. Mhm. How many more do I need? That's good, That's good. That's good. That's a good, nice mix. That is a good mix. I'm gonna go with Karen, huger. The grand dame of potomac Gotta have Margaret. Um Some of mine are very similar to yours. I'm going with Kandi Burress because I gotta have her, I need her to sing at the dinner table, I just love that voice. Um and just for kicks just to spice it up, let's get Erika Jayne in their, you know, let's get her in there and and see if she doesn't answer questions and see if she gets mad. Um And or what what um and Vicki Gun Wilson and uh yeah and maybe a lien lock in because that could get spicy too from Dallas. They're just hands but I'm a super fan. I love it. I've been since he's the one of O. C. Wow. Yes. Anyway, I have actually met Vicky. Vicky is lovely, lovely, Amazing. So sweet and kind and nice. So really yeah, you're so sweet. I love you. Come on, let's read books together. Come on, let's go. What are you working at? What are you working on next? Come on, you need insurance. Right, I got your insurance covered the family van. Yes, so people talk about right, still one of my all time favorites. So like like I said, I couldn't even read the names of your recipes without their voices in my head. Oh my gosh, I'm glad to hear that what it's meant to do. So let's just just a little bit about the housewives, We've had some compelling ones this last season's, you brought up Erika Jayne, will you talk a little bit about that situation? Yeah, I mean it was a first of all it was a great season. Everything else was just solid this season. I mean that was one where I was like I'm on the sofa, nine o'clock every Wednesday, right? It just there was nothing else going on. Wasn't even dinner anything. It was, it was, I just, it was just the progression of it through the each episode where I think I was waiting for the apology to the victims and it never came and then it went to the reunion and look, I'm with Amy, the way she talks about housewives, like she's, we're all in it for them, we don't want them to fail. We want them to be like, we want to build them up or whatever. And that was just a hard one to kind of be like, I don't want you to get in trouble, but you're making it hard for me to kind of believe you. And, and she just, it's almost like she tripled down or quadruple down in the reunion, like, in each episode. So I was like, so I never, I never got what I wanted, but hopefully it all works out. I like to leave you wanting more. I feel the same way, like, I want to, I root for our housewives, I don't want to see them in trouble. I don't want anyone to go to jail. Um, I think tom is really the monster here. I, I don't think that she knew, I, I don't think that she's an evil person. I think that she was um literally stuck between a rock and a hard place and then all she could do was just lash out, lash out lash out. she did not handle the situation well...

...um I think she could have handled it better than she did, you know? But she didn't, who am I to judge, but I am the judge because you know that's what I do for a living but and we all are, we're watching this on tv, she made it hard for us to root for her and I hated that part because I wanted to be like, we got your back, we got your back, you know? But it was so complicated. She, she could not and would not mention the victims. I understood that actually don't even, I'm not even really that mad about that except for they're just could have been another way around it where she could have done or said things different and better. Like I was always just thinking erika help me, help you, I want to, I want to be there. But it was like she in her emotional state, it's like she lashed out at the viewers to, she lashed out. It was like she lashed out through the fourth wall at us and and the cast and, and it was disappointing that the cast could not step to her, they were so terrified of her um that they could not get in there and you know, put the gloves on and be like, well if you're gonna yell at me, I'm going to yell back, you know, like they would do in a lot of other cities. I really applaud Sutton for stepping up to the bat? I think she did an amazing job. The only one Garcelle said some stuff here and there. I appreciated that. I felt like it just in the end wasn't enough. So then we ended up being at a reunion where Andy had to ask all the questions because she wasn't going to answer to them and that was, that just was some heavy lifting. That's not how reunion should be. The reunion should be about the women, you know, I love the reunion. Don't get me wrong. I wanted to get these answers disappointed. We didn't find out where it was snowing now that was the most disappointing. That was tough. Right, Where is the snow in Pasadena? What, what, what are your thoughts are on? I'm curious. I'm the same. I gave her a lot of props and thought she was very brave to even continue filming with all this going on. And in my head I was like, I felt so much like the two of you, but I was thinking she must be squelched by legal counsel. She probably isn't saying some of the things that she would like to say because she can't, she kind of said that a little bit, but I do, I think and like you, I want them all to succeed. Although there might be one or two in another city I sure could be done with. But you know, that's the thing. So what are your thoughts about the newest entry to the franchise? The Salt Lake City, wow, I've never seen anything like this is the kookiest, most Bakary wild ride. I never thought we would go on as, as viewers of the housewives. I just didn't think the state of house size would be where it is today, which, which, you know, the legal drama, you know, going off of the erika stuff into the Salt Lake City stuff with the john shaw allegedly, you know, it's the characters on Salt Lake City are unlike any other. I've never seen, you know, they are the gift that keeps on giving. I mean you've got someone in their tagline saying don't come from me or I'll send jesus after you. I'm like, what you're talking, you know, it's just, it's all that she did and then she did, what do you think I mean? Yeah, Stewart. Um so I'm right now, I've seen lots of clips off season two, I'm saving it for a binge sunday and I'm just gonna binge it all, but I loosely know what's going on, like season one was great and I love MEREDITH in there, she's my favorite and um I'm obsessed now because this arrest is happening and I'm like, can you move your ass to like a lazy sunday, so you can just do that? It's been busy Rock. I know, I know, I know it's a lot, but I can't wait though. Yeah, they, I just want to know who's still a mormon and who isn't, I can't quite figure out. They're hard to keep up with that one is um lisa Barlow is the, I believe. Okay. The only mormon we laugh all the time. We keep joking in my house that we want to brooks Marks tracks. Yes, I want one too. Just disengage and order it online. That's all I have right now and I will say that I'm one of the only people that ordered the fresh Wolf stuff. Always a good Andy Cohen uses it. He loves it. Oh, um you know, I was hoping that it would be like my new favorite. Yeah man, it's not okay. I'm so sorry. Run that you don't like my kids product. You don't love them. I love them. I love them. Trust me, I love them. I just was hoping it would be sure. Sure, sure. So what is next for the two of you? This is you formed quite a partnership here and I can see it kind of going and taking off. I hope so, we're gonna, I kind of think kind of loosely the plan is just going to see where we're going with this book and see just the feedback that we get...

...from it. I mean, I think there's some kind of talk show cook show would mean Amy going on in there with this and you know, or maybe me and Amy started just knocking on housewives doors and we just started interviewing them, their kitchens and cooking their favorite recipe. Like there's so many ways we can go with this to be honest. And so like I'm open to anything, but I think like I'm excited at the feedback so far has been insane. So it's really getting buzz. So I'm just, I'm kind of like riding this wave now and I'm just, it's exciting. I'm just excited about it. And we obviously have a list of recipes that were cut from this book that if there is another one, we're already halfway there. And also all the other bravo shows, you know, to, there's food involved in other bravo shows. So we're open to that as well. Hello, Jack. Every Federation? Yeah, you got that right. You should have like a housewives below deck and Stewart, you can be the chef and Amy Captain, Captain Captain. I love it. Well, I want to be your announcer and I'll be like, so Stewart and Amy were walking up to the door as though they were Ashley trying to confront her father. Oh, good, yes. Run. Hey, I learned from the Best from you from you. Okay, so where can people find you online? I am meet Amy phillips on instagram. I'm real amy phillips on Tiktok and I'm on twitter sometimes Amy phillips underscore, but we all, I also do radio show on Andy Cohen's channel on Sirius XM. It's radio Andy and it's five days a week. And I recap all the bravo shows four o'clock eastern one o'clock pacific. It's called reality checked. It's brilliant to I I never miss it. Oh my God, you listen Ron I didn't. Are you kidding you a huge fan? Oh my gosh, how about you Stuart? You can find me on instagram at chef Stuart O'keeffe at Chef Stuart o'keeffe on facebook and at Chef Stuart on Tiktok reach out to me, ask me some culinary questions. I'll get to you. We'll do it. All right. All right, so we're gonna put this up, we have a friends and fiction bookshop dot org shop. So we'll put this up there for people to start buying lots and lots of gifts for the holidays. But I did promise somebody I would ask this question if they wanted a signed copy, Is there a bookstore that you're partnering with that they could actually order from? Yes, So we have so we're going to be going into book soup and signing them here in Los Angeles. Oh great. And also probably in december. Me and Amy are working together now to have a store where you can we are going to sign a bunch of good books together and we're going to sell them ourselves. That is, we're going to do that. Okay, well I need five copies. Okay, holiday gifts. So just let me know when that's going to happen and I am on it, I'm on it. So and that's great because a lot of times writers do partner with a bookstore because during pandemic people aren't doing tours so much. So people are spending their money at independent bookstores and things. Which is a great store. Yeah, it helps so much. And I love yeah, that's so important. It really is. It really is. Well, thank you both for joining the podcast today. I know that this book is going to be a huge hit. I'm so honored and thrilled that you were on here and I just can't well you know, making our world thank you. Well, I love your enthusiasm. Thanks for it. It makes it real when you say these words to us. So thank you for celebrating with us. This is so awesome. It is a great launch and the book is out now. Thank you also to our listeners on behalf of mary Kay andrews, Patti Callahan, Kristy, Woodson, harvey and Kristin Harmel were thrilled you've chosen to join us. Be sure and tell a friend and join us right here next friday remember you can always find all the books by every friends and fiction writer's block podcast. Guest past and present in the friends and fiction bookshop dot org shop. All sales place there helped to fund friends and fiction and a portion of each and every sale goes straight into the pockets of indie booksellers nationwide. Since its inception bookshop dot org Has raised more than 16 million for Indie Bookstores, shops, small shop local from the convenience of your screen with bookshop.org and tell them friends and fiction sent you. Thank you for tuning in to the Friends and fiction writer's Block podcast. Please be sure to subscribe, rate and review on your favorite podcast platform, tune in every friday for another episode, And you can also join us every week on Facebook or YouTube, where our live friends and fiction show airs at seven p.m. eastern standard time. We're so glad you're here, Yeah.

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