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What do you think of Nigella?

I started watching her when I was studying in England several years ago. She is a national treasure there. I loved her then and now, but my husband thinks she is too much. I actually do like her old shows better than her new ones. What do you guys think of her recipes?

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  1. I find her cookbooks are wonderful! Her recipes pretty much always work out and are not too challenging. Actually, last night I made the Chocolate Guiness Cake out of Feast and it was a total hit.

    In terms of her shows my favourite series was the first ones, Nigella Bites. The current ones (Nigella Feasts) are not too bad but the camera work t first I found highly distracting.

    1. Recipes out of Comfort cooking are delicious, but not so good for my diet. I like her show. I like that she talks about her kids and stuff.

      1. I really like her. I know that a lot of her show is designed to be "sexy" but it doesn't bother me in the least, even if my mom laughs about her euphemisms! I have Feast and have made several recipes out of it. My son loves the "cheesy feet" and her takes on Indian cuisine are very tasty. I have made her chocolate cherry trifle two years in a row for Christmas and it's been a big hit.

        I don't know what she is like in person, but she comes across as very real. About as real as a woman married to a multi millionaire art collector can possibly be!

        1. Personally, I really like the aesthetics of her old show. The close ups, focus etc. The photography is what attracted me to the show - but she's not bad to look at either! (the newest show I find has a much lower production value.) I don't recall ever using one of her recipes - but I would definitely classify her show as food porn!

          1. I am a fan of her old show. The way this new show is shot is distracting and make me feel uncomfortable. I just can't watch it.

            1. I never had seen her before Food Network (we don't get Fine Living), but I was somewhat familiar with her cookbooks. I couldn't really get into one of her cookbooks when I checked it out the library and the one recipe I tried failed miserably. But, I do like her personality, and her food always looks good. I like her because I think she envelopes you in comfort... I feel like I could be in her kitchen, on a stool, sipping hot chocolate when I watch her.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Katie Nell

                "...she envelopes you in comfort... I feel like I could be in her kitchen, on a stool, sipping hot chocolate when I watch her:

                That's a perfect way of putting what I like about her shows. She seems to so thoroughly enjoy cooking, tasting, conversing. On so many other shows the love of food seems forced, the sexy seems forced (and hugely, hugely annoying ofr me). .Perhaps it's all show, but it all seems oh so real on her shows.

              2. I haven't seen her new show, but I loved her old one on the Style network and love her writing. Sadly, though, most recipes I've tried (from the original "How to Eat" and "How to Be a Domestic Goddess") were terrible--they were great ideas for recipes, but the recipes themselves (measurements, cooking temperatures, etc.) were all off.

                3 Replies
                1. re: ginqueen

                  Really? Hmm. Are you using a US version of the book or the UK one? I know that her original books are all does by weights in terms of measurement so that would likely make a huge difference. I have never tried any her recipies using the US version of the cookbook (I am in Canada).

                  1. re: Otonabee

                    The U.S. version....that's a very compelling explanation for it. It never made any sense to me that someone who seems to make such yummy food and obviously has wonderful appreciation for it would publish faulty recipes like that. Not all of the recipes are dodgy, but enough have been wobbly for me to approach each one with a fair amount of trepidation and/or to avoid them.

                    1. re: ginqueen

                      I can guess that it would make a major difference, especially with her baking recipies. If you have a scale and are interested in trying one of her recipes that was let me know which one and maybe I can email you the full recipe details...

                2. I love Nigella. I haven't watched much of her new show but enjoyed her old ones. Her cookbooks are great, my favourites are Forever Summer and Feast. Both are filled with good recipes that are easy to pull together; her meat and salad recipes work much better than any of the baking.

                  Mostly I enjoy her conversational writing style. She writes cookbooks you can read in bed.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cookiebaker

                    I like reading her cookbooks too. I haven't seen much of her Food Network show--I never think of watching it at 1pm on Sundays--but I did like the Style network show she had.

                  2. I've had some very tasty dishes made from her recipes.

                    Her made-for-the-US "Nigella Feasts" is often extreme deja vu if you've seen the "Nigella Bites."

                    1. You want a foodie answer or a red blooded male answer? I'll leave it at that!

                      1. I Love Nigella - her intimate breezy writing style - unpretentious lusty attitude to food. Tamasin Day Lewis is another great british food writer (though not as well endowed!) West of Ireland Summers, A Cook Book is a treasure of recipes and writing (her father was britain's poet laureate).

                        1. Love her! She's got a very comfy presence. And I think that is contagious -- I'd enjoy cooking in the kitchen with her. I get great inspiration from Martha Stewart - but I don't think cooking with her would be all that pleasant -- kind of uptight. I prefer to watch her from afar. Nigella -- she's cozy and would be a welcome addition to my all-star great food slumber party.

                          1. I love her. I love her cookbooks, I love her approach to food, and I love her shows. She seems to really find joy in cooking and eating, and that's what I find so great about her. Plus, most of the recipes of hers that I've used have worked well (I just made the Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake from Domestic Goddess for Valentine's Day, and wow, was it amazing).

                            1. I think she is so beautiful and quirky. Any woman who saves the fat off pork chops to fry up later as a "chef's snack" is okay in my book. I've never seen her husband in any episodes. Also, for as stunning as she is her kids are kind of bizarre and "Elfin" looking, like extras from Lord of the Rings, IMHO. :)

                              4 Replies
                                1. re: Oh Robin

                                  Her husband passed away some years ago, if I recall. Unless she's gotten remarried...

                                  1. re: MRS

                                    She has, she got remarried about three or so years ago, I think.

                                    1. re: JasmineG

                                      I believe her new husband is Charles Saatchi, the advertising mogul and modern art collector. It was his art that made up the Sensation show at the Brooklyn Museum during Giuliani's reign that was so controversial

                                2. I have all her books and love to watch her. She is so easy to watch.
                                  On a side note, her website gives some corrections for a few of her cookbooks; different measurements, etc. It is worth checking out if you have any of her books.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: bookwormchef

                                    The website is very good, and has reviews for many of her recipes.

                                  2. Personally, I find "Nigella Feasts" to be superior not in the camerawork (which is annoying) but that she seems a lot more comfortbale in front of the camera here. In "Bites" she seemd nervous and rushed, "Feasts" she is charming and uses such wonderful words. However some of the food she makes shouldn't be considered a recipe, I mean she boiled an egg in one episode, and in another she made a cream cheese and jelly sandwhich. This sort of irked me that she wasted some valuable camera time making this stuff. And also, she never salts her food on tv, her recipes tell you to salt to taste but when she makes food I don't see the salt, could this be a major reason why most people disown English food?

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: digkv

                                      I see her using sea salt all the time.

                                      Often the footage gives only a sketchy idea of the process, which is fine since the recipes are all online:


                                    2. i love her cookbooks and have had great success with them, and i like her general attitude and approach. the show, however, really annoys me. obviously she's not nearly as bad as r.ray (and she has actual talent), but i don't care for the sexy/cutesy schtick and i find the camerawork needlessly distracting.

                                      1. I used to enjoy watching Nigella, but not so much anymore. She certainly has a likable easygoing style. It's like being in the kitchen cooking with your best friend - your best friend who is actually a mediocre cook. Unfortunately, I'm not inspired by her recipes and I can't stand to watch her use that mezzaluna - get some knife skills girl!

                                        1. love love love her
                                          love love love her
                                          she is sooooooooo amazing
                                          (and any woman who enjoys eating is so hot i'm dying)

                                          1. Her husband did pass away several years ago and there was sort of a scandal about it because the English media said she was having a "blessed" affair with her current husband while her former husband was dying. Apparently, her former husband liked the current husband and allowed her to have this relationship. It was all very strange and new age.

                                            1. I take anything I read in the British press about celebrities with a grain (OK, a boulder) of salt; they seem to love a scandal even more than Americans.

                                              John Diamond (Nigella's late husband) and Charles Saatchi (the current one) were friends. Diamond was very adamant about wanting Nigella to remarry. The allegation about the affair came from Saatchi's bitter ex-wife; he started dating Nigella very quickly on the heels of their split, and I think she resented it. The fact that Nigella has maintained very close ties to Diamond's family (and they are fine with the remarriage) says volumes about what's true.

                                              The remarks about the kids' looks were out of line. So in your eyes they're going through a bit of an awkward phase (I think they look like normal preteens). So what?! Have YOU been as dizzyingly beautiful as you are now all your life?

                                              And for the record-- Nigella rocks. She doesn't HAVE to be a great cook. She's sharing her love of food and eating, showing you how to indulge your own love of food and eating, and hopefully giving you a little encouragement to get in there and feed yourself and your loved ones. Her cookbooks are literature (gorgeous, voluptuous writing) as well as how-to tomes. And let's face it-- she's wonderfully easy on the eyes and not annoyingly rail-thin.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: rjw_lgb_ca

                                                Out of line? Puh-lease. High horse? Yes. And yes I have always been this beautiful. Not sure if I'd use dizzyingly because I'm not sure if it's a word. Get over it! And I still love Nigella.

                                              2. I absolutely love Nigella. I love how she loves food...how she expounds on the details of things, using all of her senses. I love that she's a "real woman" with curves and not a stick figure like some TV cooks. And all of the recipes I've tried have been great.

                                                1. I love watching Nigella, however, haven't tried any of her recipes. Her descriptions of the food is quite entertaining. And love when she goes back for a late night snack. She's great!

                                                  1. I've tried to watch her new show a couple of time but haven't been able to test out any of her recipes yet. I found this an interesting thread. My husband hates the way it's filmed. He doesn't know her name, he just refers to her as the one with the close-ups and asks me to turn it off.

                                                    1. apparently I look like her and when I lived in England was often asked if I was her!

                                                      1. I love Nigella, I have used tons of her recipes and have always had success with them (of course claiming them as my own at dinner parties) and I like her shows and I agree that she seems a lot more comfortable in front of the camera these days. And I LUV when you see her in front of the fridge in her robe for a late night snack.

                                                        1. Has anyone noticed that Food Network is running episodes of "Nigella Bites" now under the heading of "Nigella Feasts"? I'm actually enjoying it more now, since I find her overly affected in the Feasts episodes (a little too many adjectives and sultry looks) and missed the old shows.

                                                          1. I'll be the lone dissenter. I'd seen a show once or twice and liked her quick takes on party foods -- but now that she's on Food Network I'm frequently grossed out. I'm tired of seeing her lick a fork and stick it right back into the guacamole she's just about to serve her guests, or lick her fingers and then pick up the next ingredient, etc. I know people cook like that in their own homes but I don't need to see it. I'm starting to think she needs to add 'saliva' as an ingredient in all of her recipes.

                                                            1. I really do like her, though I'm not a huge fan of the shows (and I prefer Bites to Feasts). She's like the anti-Sandra Lee -- instead of making cooking seem like it's too hard to attempt without all sorts of crappy shortcuts and substitutions, she tries to make it as accessible as possible - there's a lot of "I do it this way, but you can really substitute anything you have in the fridge for this curry" which is kind of refreshing. I've had generally good luck with her recipes -- all of the non-baking ones are generally fabulous, and the baking ones are generally fabulous too, though I've hit a few clunkers

                                                              1. Love her books, not so crazy about her shows. Never had a recipe turn out bad. Mainly, I like her attitude and her philosophy about food. I'm in the UK, so I've never seen the new show in the US.