Nov. 23, 2009 — -- Martha Stewart apologized on her show Monday for lashing out at TV competitor and fellow domestic diva Rachael Ray's cooking skills during a "Nightline" interview.
"Just for the record, there are no bad feelings between us nor have there ever been," Stewart, 68, said during a cooking segment with Emeril Lagasse. "I truly believe that Rachael has done a terrific job bringing people, many people who would of never have even stepped into the kitchen or made a dish to cook. I applaud Rachel for her enthusiastic approach to cooking."
In the "Nightline" interview, Stewart dished on her time in prison and took aim at Ray's inferior baking skills and new cookbook.
"Well, to me, she professed that she could -- cannot bake," said Stewart. "She ... just did a new cookbook which is just a re-edit of a lot of her old recipes ... and that's not good enough for me. I mean, I really want to write a book that is a unique and lasting thing. Something that will really fulfill a need in someone's library."
The competitors recently appeared on each other's television shows, making it abundantly clear that Ray's style in the kitchen is far more laid-back than Stewart's.
"She's different ... she's more of an entertainer than she is, with her bubbly personality, than she is a teacher, like me. That's not what she's professing to be," Stewart said.
In her public apology, Stewart extended an invitation to Ray to appear on her show again -- even borrowing one of Ray's catchphrases, "Yum-o."
"I really had a great time being a guest on her show and it was a lot of fun to have her on this show making pie with me, too," Stewart said during Monday's show. "Come on back, Rachael, anytime you want and I hope you have a Yum-o Thanksgiving."
Stewart is arguably the world's most famous homemaker. She claims 37 million people follow her various enterprises, from her cooking show (in its fifth year) to her books -- all 69 of them, and counting. Her latest publication, "Dinner at Home," hit the bestseller lists the first week it was out.
In the "Nightline" interview, Stewart acknowledged that Ray, whose known for her "30-Minute Meals," gets families to the dinner table, but has a completely different approach.
"She does it very differently than I do. She's a totally different kind of cook than I am," Stewart said. "I don't know if she has a garden. I don't think so. But -- if she does, she doesn't show that on her show so much."
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Rachael Ray on Martha: 'I'd Rather Eat Martha's [Meal] Than Mine'
We asked Rachael Ray for her reaction to Stewart's comments. Does it make her mad?
"Why would it make me mad?" said Ray. "Her skill set is far beyond mine. That's simply the reality of it. That doesn't mean that what I do isn't important, too... I don't consider it needling. I really just think she's being honest. She does have a better skill set than I do when it comes to producing a beautiful, perfect, high quality meal. I'd rather eat Martha's than mine, too."
It is in part Stewart's over-the-top perfectionism that makes her fans adore her and her critics go crazy -- a criticism, by the way, she doesn't understand.
"Well, how can a teacher be too perfect?" Stewart said. "If I had a teacher who was imperfect, or couldn't speak French when they were a French teacher, or mispronounced things, or -- spoke bad grammar if she were teaching, or he were teaching English, that would not have been a good thing."