Brian Doben In Martha Stewart's Kitchen
It’s not often an invitation to Martha Stewart’s Westchester home lands in your lap. So, when Brian Doben got that invitation, to take her portrait for a profile by People Magazine, he loaded up and headed to her small farm. When you meet an icon you can never be sure what you’re going to get, but this is Martha Stewart: the queen of all things good. “She could not have been a sweeter woman. It was a wonderful,” says Brian. “I think she spent a lot of time with Snoop [Dogg] - she’s really chill. I think she’s found peace and it was a really splendid time with her and her dogs and seeing her home.” Brian was asked by the magazine to provide a single portrait, so they started in the most obvious place, her kitchen. We’ve all been in Martha Stewart’s kitchen before, whether it’s the kitchen in her home in Katonah, or one on a studio set through the magic of TV, we know what it’s like to cook with Martha. It’s practically a sacred space and the basis of all things Martha Stewart, so it’s bound to be a unique experience.
“It was a bit surreal because we’re in her kitchen photographing, and it’s Martha Stewart so she talks to you in a way that is constantly teaching and explaining,” says Brian. “It’s really quite interesting because she is true to herself. She loves what she does. She has passion that is just at its purest form.” What started as a simple photoshoot turned into a regaling of stories about famous chefs, some set decorating, and a lesson in hygiene (Stewart showed Brian how she removes the garlicky smell from her hands after chopping). Brian and Stewart got along so well that the shoot continued outside the kitchen onto Stewart’s grounds and they spent some quality time with the dogs.
Stewart is a rockstar of homegoods, and even though she’s forever inviting us into her space (at least virtually) there’s still a lot to know about her. Her career and life are both remarkable, but as much as we learn about her there’s still so much more to learn – either about how to make the perfect apple pie, or maybe something even more. After all, if we can fix the small things, we can fix the big things. “She’s such an American Icon for constantly giving tips and all that, but I want to know more about who and why she does what she does. I think she really loves to do it all,” says Brian. “She’s truly like a Warren Buffet, she’s just a walking phenomenon. Good or bad. She’s just who she is. If we can get rid of garlic hands it would be like we solved everything.”