‘When I see a picture of someone who’s really hugely fat I don’t think ‘how hideous!’ I think ‘how delicious it must have been to get there.’’- Nigella Lawson
Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson (although apparently she hates being called this as she has never been formally trained as a chef) is an extraordinarily passionate woman about all things food. She takes enormous pleasure in the simple act of preparing a meal, which is why I think she would make a good subject for BOTM as she finds joy in the most unlikely of places. Whether is be the beautiful colour combination that is made when sautéing pale pink bacon and light green leeks, the sound of scraping an avocado from it’s skin, or simply the fresh smell of thyme, Nigella relishes every moment of cooking.
Nigella inspires me in her food philosophy and laid back approach to cooking which is something I have really taken on board in regards to my own cooking. What sets her apart from other ‘celebrity chefs’ is her lack of pretension, honesty and her willingness to defy supposed cooking conventions. She doesn’t worry about using fancy ingredients like fois gras or truffles, or succumb to food trends, for Nigella if the flavour is there than that is really all that matters, in her world you should be able to serve mac and cheese to the queen if it’s tasty enough. One reporter dubbed her ‘queen of the frozen pea’ as she is not ashamed in using the humble product which would have most chefs tsk tsking. Another thing that I can really relate to about her approach to cooking is her express solution to everything. She understands that the average person does not have hours to create a meal these days which is why it is perfectly acceptable to cut a few corners like using stock cubes (who the hell has time to stew a stock for hours and hours!), lime juice from a bottle and pre-cut vegetables. If it still tastes really good than it shouldn’t really matter how you got there!
She is incredibly self- deprecating (which you don’t find amongst most cocky arrogant chefs), forever confessing that the reason she cuts corners is pure laziness or lacking in finesse. She also proclaims to be incredibly greedy when dolling out her enormous portions and this flaw is quite evident in the infamous endings of her cooking shows, as she is always seen going back to the fridge for a midnight snack and plunging back in to her culinary creations.
Another thing which cannot be ignored when broaching the subject of Nigella Lawson is her sexuality. Some say that there is something very primal about eating which connects with sex. You can definitely understand this concept when you watch Nigella, whose programs have been labelled as ‘food porn.’ Her passion for food is all consuming which is why she appears so sensual on screen, that and probably all the deep ‘ooohs and aaahs’ she lets out when preparing her sumptuous treats. It has also been said that there is something very provocative about a woman enjoying eating so much as a lot of women have a very tortured relationship with food, so to see a woman relishing it so much seems almost deviant. When asked in an interview what her favourite guilty pleasure was Nigella quipped ‘The one thing you should never feel guilty about is pleasure.’ She has even gone as far to say that if someone didn’t enjoy eating than she wouldn’t want to have sex with them as they would have no understanding of pleasure.
For some reason whenever I admire someone I have this weird desire to be related to them. I always say to Lee that I wish Nigella was my Aunt ( not my mother as I would get too fat!) an Aunt is just right as I could indulge occasionally without having to feel to bad. So I leave you with a clip of Aunt Nigella in action-
Feeling hungry yet?!