Gwyneth Paltrow

A Hollywood legend in the making, Gwyneth Paltrow has defied the odds by remaining one of today's most prolific and celebrated actors in the ever-changing film industry. A testament to her undeniable talent, her role in SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE catapulted her into awards stardom with Best Actress honors at the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and Academy Awards. Her career has been studded with both critically acclaimed independents and studio blockbusters that have made her a fixture for this generation's film audience.

Most recently, Paltrow starred in Marvel's IRON MAN which grossed over $100 million in its opening weekend. Paltrow took on the role of Virginia “Pepper” Potts, personal secretary and confidant to Tony Stark aka Iron Man. Paltrow recently completed production of James Gray's romantic drama TWO LOVERS with Joaquin Phoenix, which premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.

Paltrow recently made her directorial debut, co-writing and co-directing DEALBREAKERS, a short film she directed with her friend Mary Wigmore.

Paltrow's recent film credits include PROOF, the film adaptation of the Pulitzer-Prize winning play in which Paltrow recently finished a successful run at London's Dunmar Theater. This performance as a harassed young woman struggling to care for her eccentric math genius father reunited her with her SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE director, John Madden, who also directs the film co-starring Anthony Hopkins, Jake Gyllenhaal and Hope Davis. She received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress for her work in the play as well as a Golden Globe nomination for her work in the film.

SYLVIA, the Focus Features film tells the story of the relationship between Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Paltrow has appeared in director Anthony Mighella's THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY opposite Matt Damon, Jude Law, and Cate Blanchett and in the hit film A PERFECT MURDER opposite Michael Douglas and Viggo Mortensen, as well as in the critically acclaimed and international box office hit film SLIDING DOORS.

Paltrow's work on the public television series SPAIN... ON THE ROAD AGAIN, featuring chef Mario Batali, debuts in September 2008 and marks her first foray on a television series. While in high school, she spent time in Spain as a foreign exchange student, where she fell in love with the country and has been "officially adopted" by Talavera de la Reina, a region of Castilla La Mancha.

Born in Los Angeles where she spent the first eleven years of her life, Paltrow stems from a very close-knit family deeply entrenched in the entertainment industry. Her father, Bruce Paltrow was a highly successful producer ("St. Elsewhere," "The White Shadow") and her mother is the award-winning actress Blythe Danner. Paltrow and her younger brother Jake spent their early childhood in Los Angeles where she attended St. Augustine by the Sea (now known as Crossroads).

At the age of eleven, her family moved to New York and she enrolled in the Spence School where she would later graduate. Paltrow enrolled in the University of California at Santa Barbara with the intention of majoring in Art History. She quickly learned that college life was not something she felt committed to and withdrew from school despite her father's strong recommendation to remain. It wasn't until he caught her moving performance in the Williamstown Theater production of Picnic, starring opposite her mother and Tony Goldwyn did he lend his support in her pursuit of an acting career.

Paltrow currently resides in New York City and London.

Mario Batali

With thirteen restaurants, six cookbooks and a host of television shows, including the ever-popular Iron Chef America, Mario Batali is arguably one of the most recognized and respected chefs working in America today. This, combined with his larger-than-life personality is the reason that he has received accolades like GQ Magazine's Man of the Year and the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef.

He has been profiled by such publications as Time Magazine, Life Magazine and The New Yorker and is a frequent guest on national television shows like Good Morning America and Live! with Regis and Kelly. In April 2008, Mario's much anticipated 6th cookbook - Mario Batali - Italian Grill, went on sale and has landed on the New York Times bestsellers list.

Mario owns seven New York City restaurants, including his flagship, award-winning restaurant, Babbo Ristorante e Entoeca, which he owns with partner, Joe Bastianich. His other six enormously successful restaurants in New York City include Lupa Osteria Romana, Esca, Casa Mono, Bar Jamón, Otto Enoteca Pizzeria, and Del Posto.

The duo's first west coast venture, in collaboration with Nancy Silverton is Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles. Mario and Joe recently journeyed to Las Vegas to open B&B Ristorante and Enoteca San Marco in the Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino. Their latest project is Carnevino - an Italian steak house opened in January of 2008 in the Palazzo Hotel, adjacent to the Venetian.

Mario splits his time between New York City's Greenwich Village and northern Michigan with his wife Susi Cahn of Coach Dairy Goat Farm, and their two sons.

Mark Bittman

Mark Bittman is one of the country's best known and widely admired food writers, beloved for his candor, his non-chef attitude, his straightforward writing style, and his simple recipes. He is the creator of "The Minimalist," the popular New York Times weekly column (now in its eleventh year), accompanying web videos, and daily blog, "Bitten," also hosted by the Times.

Bittman's best-selling How to Cook Everything has become the bible of basic cooking for millions of Americans; his most recent book, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian (recent winner of an IACP/Julia Child award and nominee for a James Beard award) was one of the best-selling cookbooks of 2007 and is on track to change the way America cooks. Bittman will push his sane eating agenda further with the release of his groundbreaking work on food, diet, and climate change, called Food Matters (Simon and Schuster, January 2009).

He is the host of the Public Television series Bittman Takes on America's Chefs, which first aired in spring 2005 and won the James Beard Award for the best cooking series of 2005. The second season, The Best Recipes in the World, is currently airing on public television and up for a Beard award in June 2008. He recently finished shooting his third PBS series, with Gwyneth Paltrow, Claudia Bassols and Mario Batali, called Spain...on the Road Again.

How to Cook Everything won the Julia Child general cookbook award, the James Beard general cookbook award, and three other major international cookbook awards; it also spent a record 130 weeks on the L.A. Times Cookbook Hot List. In the late 90s, Bittman created a best-selling collaboration with the internationally celebrated chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Their classic, Jean-Georges: Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef, is widely considered to be among the most accessible chef's cookbooks ever published. Bittman's first book, Fish - The Complete Guide to Buying and Cooking, currently in its eighth printing, is the best-selling book on the subject. Among his other works are the blockbuster The Best Recipes in the World and the award-winning "Minimalist" cookbooks, now collected in Mark Bittman's Simple and Easy Recipes from the New York Times.

Claudia Bassols

Claudia Bassols was born in Barcelona, Spain. She graduated from Barcelona's Coco Comin School of Musical Theater and went on to study acting at Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Art, at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and in Los Angeles. She made her stage debut in Wilmington, where she received great reviews for her performance in the play Boys' Life. She supported herself during the audition phase of her career by appearing in commercials and singing in pubs with her band, The End.

Perseverance and hard work paid off when she was cast in the leading role of Carmen in the sitcom El Mundo de Chema alongside renowned Spanish comedian Carlos Latre. Since then she has played the lead in other Spanish TV series such as C.L.A. No somos ángeles. She has also played supporting roles in some of Spain's most successful TV series (Amar en tiempos revueltos, Mis adorables vecinos). Claudia was raised speaking Spanish, Catalan and English. She has been frequently cast in English-speaking roles, such as in the feature film Blackout starring Amber Tamblyn and Aidan Gillen. She is also fluent in Swedish, Italian and French.