Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
Oct 21, 2007 08:45 PM

Anyone else LOVE Nigella?

I just have to say, when Nigella Lawson came back to FN this year with her "new" show. I was so very excited. AND now that she has yet another one (Nigella "express" or Pronto?) something like that, I'm doubly excited. I absolutely love watching her cook. She is a real person, cooking real food, and I find that her descriptions just make me hungry. I have all of her cookbooks, and even though most of her recipes are decidedly "english", they are so good. It is just so refreshing not to see tons of cleavage and stick thin perfect people cooking food that you know they never eat. She really seems to enjoy her food. I LOVE IT

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have watched her a number of times and INHO she is not a cook...she has a "cooking show" and she stages stuff just like a number of other "pseudo-cooks"...put her in a real kitchen and she would be DOA....

    9 Replies
    1. re: Pollo

      If it weren't for that "pseudo cook" my Christmas dinner would not have the best roast potatoes ever or brussels sprouts that everyone devours. Nor would there be the lovely cranberry pudding in the week before Christmas. My son's face would not light up at the sight of her brownies and chocolate cloud cake. Many, many wonderful dinners made from the pages of her cookbooks would not have happeed.

      1. re: Pollo

        What would be a "real kitchen?" She's a home cook, and has always presented herself as such. I'm also curious about what defines a "pseudo-cook."

        Insofar as being a "cook" she takes ingredients in a raw state, applies heat and then serves the food to eat. I find her recipes to be accessible and often interesting and creative. If I like the basic ingredients to begin with, I almost always find them tasty. I like her books better than the shows that have been on the Food Network.

        1. re: ccbweb

          Like I said before, she is no cook...not even a "home cook"....if you take all her staff and assistants she would burn water....

          1. re: Pollo

            I think you would find that you are wrong in your assessment of her. Despite the fact that she is married to an incredibly rich advertising mogul, she still chooses to work at what she likes doing.

            Does the fact that she has household help mean that she can't cook? What are your issues with her?

            1. re: Pollo

              What have you seen on the shows you've watched that lead you to that conclusion?

          2. re: Pollo

            Nigella is more of the "giggle and jiggle" set that Food Entertainment Network has embraced.

            1. re: Kelli2006

              I don't think of Nigella as a giggly person. She's more jiggle and moan, if you ask me. She seems to enjoy food and not mind expressing her enjoyment. It's a little over the top, but it's allright by me. That photo of her licking a spatula in which one was it, Nigella Feasts?, that sort of clued me in to her persona. Not my favorite, but she's a real-ish person at least, and doesn't act like she has pudding for a brain.

              1. re: amyzan

                But at the end of the day she produces real food. I also like the fact that she doesn't dumb it down.

              2. re: Kelli2006

                Except for the fact that she doesnt make up words that don't exist, she is literate, a writer, interesting, brilliant in fact - LOVES HER FAMILY and is not full of herself. I love this woman for her style and her food and for her perseverance that got her through hell.

            2. I don't cook myself (except for hot dogs) but I enjoy watching the cooks on FN. I agree with you regarding Nigella being a real person. She's not over the the top with phony enthusiasm and she does genuinely seem to enjoy her food. And, being a guy, I love watching her. Love the accent and love women who have some meat on them and don't care that they aren't stick thin.

              1 Reply
              1. re: hotdoglover

                I can do without that "yumm-o" girl, but Nigella is incredible. I love to watch her cook and eat. I feel as if I am right there in the kitchen with her. When she takes a generous mouthfull of whatever she has just prepared, that "Mmmmm" sounds like someone is kissing her neck. No wonder she coined the term "Gastroporn". We are of a similar age and body type, so I find myself relating to her on many levels.

                Pollo, you could not be more wrong about her. She does not offer herself as a chef, or a cook, but a professional eater, who enjoys feeding and nurturing others. Read the introduction to any of her cookbooks, and you'll understand.

              2. I watched her show last Saturday the one where she made a chicken cacciatore and lemon mushroom pasta. Although her version is pretty different from mine, I'll probably try it. I think she has a way with making people feel comfortable and at ease, and saying not to be afraid to try. I think some of the food she makes is pretty simple and I like that.
                There are alot of people that are not trying and want to because they are intimidated by the really high end recipes, so they turn to prepared foods. She is showing new home cooks that not everything needs to come out of a box. How to replace a product such as Hamburger Helper or those types of meals. I've always thought it was so much better to open a bag of pasta and create a sauce with fresh ingredients herbs and vegetables and that's what I get from her.

                I enjoy watching her, I feel relaxed and don't feel like I need to make it in 30 minutes with rapid fire instructions being barked out at me. I don't get the impression that she is trying to come off as "papered" chef at all or see that she is being pretentious.
                Undoubtedly she is a very beautiful woman and mother, sending the message that we can have fun with our children, cook and look lovely too. She seems to be very comfortable with herself, that in itself is refreshing for me.

                2 Replies
                1. re: chef chicklet

                  I also enjoy watching Nigella and try to catch her show whenever I can. (That said, I made that Lemon-Thyme Mushroom Linguine after seeing it on the show you mention... awful.) I think it's the Anglophile in me that prefers Nigella, Jamie Oliver, etc. over American cooking shows.

                  1. re: jim1126

                    Well that's good to know. I can certainly make a lemon pasta ( did chicken piccata last night.) but I get so agrivated when "their" recipes don't work.
                    Thanks for reporting back. What a disappointment.

                    Can you describe the failure? Let's say you are at the judging table, what exactly was the problem? Seasoning? Sauce failure? Do you think you could improve it.
                    The thought of lemon, thyme,mushroom and linguine sounds very simple how could she mess it up?

                    I hate that when that happens!

                2. I watched her show yesterday morning. At the very end, just as the credits were rolling, she snuck into a dark kitchen, opened the fridge and got what looked like a pice of proscuitto which she wrapped around what looked like a pork chop and stood at the fridge eating it. Hilarious. You have to really love food to pull a stunt like that. Did anyone see that?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: southernitalian

                    No I missed that but most of the time she does things like we all do when we are enjoying a quiet moment all to ourselves with our head stuck inside the fridge.

                  2. She's one of my favorites, and I concur with many of the comments already posted here. I agree with Pollo in that she'd probably crash and burn in a restaurant kitchen, BUT she's not a restaurant chef nor presents herself as such; she's a woman who knows food and has some great ideas for the home cook. I watch her because she presents good, honest, well-made and lovingly prepared food out of her home, and inspires me to do the same. While I do like watching and get inspired by the "pros" (mario, flay, etc.), I find folks like Nigella, Ina, and to some extent Giada, inspiring on a more down-to-earth level.

                    I also love how Nigella makes such simple things rarely without short cuts a la Sandra Lee. And her food always looks so appetizing. I'd love to be one of her dinner guests!