The macrobiotic, organic eater is loosening up a bit for a new reality food show

By Stephen M. Silverman
October 03, 2007 09:00 AM

The woman once known for her alcohol-free, macrobiotic diet – and then admitted to a weakness for pinot noirs – has loosened up even further.

Gwyneth Paltrow plans to eat her way through Spain.

“I am ‘supercontenta‘ to be here,” the Oscar winner, 35, said Tuesday at a Madrid press conference to announce her upcoming gastronomic reality series for PBS, Spain … on the Road Again.

Still, the longtime advocate for all things organic is not completely abandoning her old food restrictions.

“I think my Spanish father will kill me when I refuse to eat jamon Jabugo,” the actress admitted, referring to the specially cured ham from the black Iberian pig – as well as to the patriarch of a Spanish family she lived with when she was a high-school exchange student.

“[But] I haven’t eaten anything from a four-footed animal since I was about 15,” she added.

Paltrow, who lives in London with her husband of four years, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, and their two young children, will film the 13-week series with famed chef Mario Batali, New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman and Spanish TV actress Claudia Bassols.

The show, to debut in late 2008, will document the group’s adventures in search of the perfect meal, and it was Batali who initially spoon-fed the venture to Paltrow.

“I was having dinner with Mario, and he was talking about this project,” said Paltrow. “I told him, ‘If you want me, I’m with you.’ He thought I was joking, and I had to persuade him I was serious. So here I am in Madrid – my friends are all jealous.”

Meat, No; Cheese and Eels, Yes

While Paltrow still avoids being a carnivore, she is a devoted follower of the Mediterranean diet and enjoys Spanish rice dishes, shellfish, pan con tomate (toasted country bread with olive oil and crushed tomatoes) and the prohibitively expensive angulas (baby eels in sizzling olive oil, garlic and hot peppers). She is also a great fan of “the delicious cheeses.”

Paltrow was previously so strict with her diet that, when she did break loose, her new regime qualified as news.

“I eat wheat and cheese,” she was quoted as saying by after the birth of daughter Apple, in 2004. (Son Moses is 1.) “I don’t have milk or butter because it’s not good for anybody, but I’m a lot less strict than I was. My diet was very regimented. But now I eat what I want.”

Well, almost.

Reporting by JANE WALKER

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