2/25/2013 10:00:00 AM

SoBe 2013: Martha Stewart on Keeping Her Brand Relevant, Miami's Food Scene and More

It's 7:15PM and we're sitting in the lobby of the Loews Hotel in South Beach Miami awaiting the arrival of likely the most famous person we will ever meet - the lady herself - Martha Stewart. Martha is running late and at 7:25PM, we're told to come backstage where Martha is greeting the chefs and posing for pics. We head to the back of the massive Loews ballroom where dozens of chefs are scurrying around like field mice, readying a $500/a head dinner for hundreds of guests in honor of chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Mo√ęt Hennessey CEO Christophe Navarre. Martha, who is the mistress of ceremonies tonight, poses with Daniel Boulud and others while press and others snap pics. We follow Martha and her entourage upstairs for a brief reception with some VIPs before we finally snag five minutes alone with Ms. Stewart. Here's our four minutes and 59 seconds with the lifestyle icon herself:

Zagat: You were chosen to be mistress of ceremonies tonight by Nobu, what does that mean to you? Are the two of you good friends?
MS: Oh we've been friends for I think 20 years, maybe more, maybe about 26 years. And I had one of my first book parties in New York in Nobu downtown. And I went to Tokyo with Nobu and we filmed him taking me to all the great indie spots including his favorite spots in Tsukiji fish market. So over the years we've stayed kind of close.

Zagat: Is Miami a culinary destination for you?
MS: I don't come here specifically for the food but boy has it changed. There's a lot of awfully good food here, lots of great restaurants. In the last five years it's really exploded in the number of restaurants that offer good food. It's a fun place. I come here basically for fun. It's lively, the first time I spent any time here at all is with nine children who I had taken on a trip to the Galapagos and there a big snowstorm in New York and we couldn't get home and we were stranded in Miami. We had so much fun. So I sort of got to know Miami then and have continued to come back here.

Zagat: You carry so many titles - author, mogul, businesswoman, cook, lifestyle guru, which one would you want to be remembered by first and foremost?
MS: Well I don't want to be remembered just yet. So I don't talk about that yet.

Zagat: What would you say your mission is as a businesswoman?
MS: To provide trusted content and instruction to the broadest possible audience as well as really good product at really good prices - fair prices. That's really what I like to do and it seems to be working .

Zagat: With technology changing so much since your brand has launched, what have you done to keep the brand relevant?
MS: Well we were one of the first lifestyle magazine to have an app. Our app has won many awards - it's a fabulous interactive app. It's a subscription to our magazine available on a monthly basis. We have a lively website with millions of uniques. We provide access to our thousands of recipes, thousands of pieces of information, actually millions probably, we're doing a lot of short-form videos and editing many of my evergreen television segments into slightly shorter form to keep up with the demand not only on our channel but also AOL, Yahoo, on hopefully Google, YouTube, Hulu. So we're right up there. We keep doing it.

Zagat: I heard that you're working on a comedy for Fox called The Tao of Martha. Tell me a little about that.
MS: Oh it's I hope a really interesting sitcom only based on me and my teachings which is being produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's company, Imagine Entertainment.


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