Nigella Lawson - A biography of The Domestic Goddess


The lady who has made a name for herself as a prominent chef and a TV celebrity, Nigella Lawson is popularly known as The Domestic Goddess, after her cookbook about the art of baking and comfort food. In her own words, "I am not a chef. I am not even a trained or professional cook. My qualification is as an eater." So she is basically a foodie like all of us, but she went one step further and her tie-up with Food Network made her a culinary celebrity and a name known in most households! Writer and TV cook Nigella Lawson is beautiful, talented, and has a way with food. Here I present some less-known facts about her and a writeup on what lies behind the famous personality.

Image: Nigella with her Daughter Cosina (courtesy of cookiemag)

Snapshot:
Birth Date: January 6th, 1960
Homebase: London, UK
Family: Husband-Charles Saatchi, Kids-Cosima and Bruno
Famous Cookbooks: How To eat, How to be a Domestic Goddess, Feast: Food to Celebrate Life
Famous Shows: Nigella Bites, Nigella feasts, Forever Summer with Nigella

Born of a rich heritage, Nigella's father is the former Conservative Chancellor (for the queen), Nigel Lawson, and her mother was Vanessa Salmon, beautiful socialite and heiress to the Lyons Corner House empire. She wasn't an excellent student, and yet she did find her way into Oxford, began a restaurant column in The Spectator in 1985 and moved on to become the deputy literary editor of The Sunday Times in the coming year. But it was not until she married John Diamond (her deceased husband) that she found her inner strengths and inclinations toward food and cooking. He pursuaded her to write her first cookbook "How to Eat", and her second award-winning book "How to be a Domestic Goddess" gave her the fame and recognition that she had no idea about! It was voted as the "Cookery Book of the Year" by the Guild of Food Writers in 2001. Meanwhile, she had made a presence in the media world through her Channel 4 TV series, "Nigella Bites". Her most recent book is the "Feast: Food to Celebrate Life"

But life is not always a bed of roses. Nigella lost some most important people in her life to cancer and leukameia - her mother, her sister and then her late husband. These were huge losses, and at tough times like these, she found refuge in cooking. Her motto for such times has been like this: "I suppose I do think that awful things can happen at any moment, so while they are not happening you may as well be pleased." It is reported that Nigella declined an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) honor for "her services to journalism and to cookery" in 2001, which created quite a havoc in UK and got her some negative publicity. But if it's true, I only respect her more for having selected to stick to her passions rather than fame!

Nigella found her way into Food Network for the first time through Nigella Feasts, a serioes about food, family, public holidays and private passions, and how to celebrate them with dishes that stir the senses and delight the palate. American audiences also know her from her bi-monthly food column for The New York Times, Gourmet and Bon Appetit, which flourished her with 2002 Tastemaker of the Year award She also hosts the "Forever Summer with Nigella", her popular cooking & lifestyle series on Style. Nigella remarried in 2003 and currently lives in London with husband, Charles Saatchi, and her children (from her previous marriage).

Inspired by her day-to-day experiences in the kitchen, she launched the Nigella Lawson's kitchenware collection which is both stylish and practical. For more details, you can check out her website. She is not a loud-spoken girl, and has always been simple and shy. I think she does have a knack of cooking and puts a lot of passion into her food and presentation, which is commendable. A lot of us have sought inspirations from her lovely cookbooks and shows, and will continue to do so in the future! I, like several others, look up to her and wish her luck and thank her for showing us the way to becoming Domestic Goddesses!:)


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19 comments :

vimmi said...

I used to watch her show all the time, before I had my son. I dont remeber which channel it was. This was before she was a Food Network Star. Ireally liked watching her shows. She has such presence.

Candy said...

some of her recipes are just awesome! and what I like about her is that she's really unassuming, unlike some "others" on food network!

-Candy

Kalai said...

Nigella is so down to earth and her writing style is so easy to read. Great write-up, Mansi! :)

Alpa said...

i love her, she makes food so sexy! i used to watch her on bbc, which in my opinion was so much better than her candy coated lines they feed her on food network. caught her valentine's day interview on NPR. she said her usual things like, "chocolate is so sensual" in that Nigella voice. how can the guys resist?

Coffee said...

I love her! and most of all I love her show! I can't really cook most of the things she shows in there since it has either 1 or 2 sticks of butter or is non-veg...... but I just love seeing her presentation and you can almost see the tinkle in her eye when she is hosting it! Aaah I love her! Thanks for such a beautiful post. :)

Red Chillies said...

I have heard so much about Nigella Lawson but I have not seen even one show of hers. I think she airs on Food Network and I need to make it a point to watch her.

sandhya said...

Nice write-up about Nigella. i love watching her show. i like her books too.

Mansi Desai said...

I'm glad she has so many fans:) I love her presentation, and also the fat that she tries to be herself on her shows!

Siri said...

Mansi- I became a fan of Nigella - all becoz of her show in Food Network. She is gorgeous and love her British accent! Its sad to hear about the loss she suffered from. I admire her and indeed she is a DOMESTIC GODDESS!

Nice post dear.

Hugs,
Siri

Asha said...

I love a cook who eats well and as you can see she eats well!:D
She is beautiful, a delight to watch on TV!:)

Happy cook said...

I like Nigella. I do wathc her when they show it in BBC. Once i read a article about her and it seems her first husband loved to taste her food and he was her best critic, but then he got sick and the worst things was he coudn't eat anymore ..... i felt really sad and on top of it she lost her mom and sister to cancer.

Superchef said...

ohhh...i soo used to watch all her shows of Nigella feasts!! this is one cook i admire..who also eats as well as she cooks!!! :))

AnuZi said...

I used to love watching her shows and even now if I can manage to catch her on tv...I definitely sit down and see what she is preparing. I think her popularity is due to her down to earth personality...you know like she would make a good friend if you knew her personally hehe....well at least we would be over to eat all those yummy meals she prepars ;o)

Mansi Desai said...

I totally agree with your views!

Siri,Asha - she's really a delight to watch!

HC - yeah, the tragic part of her life is actually inspiring!

Superchef - I know what you mean! she's not skinny like the others:) hehe

Anuzi - "Down-to-earth" is a great word for her! I'd love to be her friend!:D

Rosie said...

I became a fan of Nigella's some years ago. I do have a fondness for her cookbook - Feast.

Rosie x

Miri said...

One of my favourite cooks for her down to earth manner and love of ingredients....

I dont like the Nigella Express show which seems very contrived and much in contradiction to her original persona...but still she remains a favourite

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I'm a big fan of Nigella because she cooks and eats very much the way I do. She's adventurous and spontaneous. For someone who isn't trained, she does seem to have a decent grasp of kitchen skills as well. At least they're better than mine.

(or maybe I just like her because we're both brunettes wtih nice racks ;-))

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

Nice write up Mansi. I love visiting her site. I've seen her food shows a couple of times when we visited the US; sadly her food shows aren't aired here, but I love the innovation & ease she works with. Her passion shows!

Cris said...

Hi Mansi, you were able to summarize Nigella so well here! How sad that she lost her dear ones in such tragic way, I had no idea. I will try not to despise so much the way she licks her fingers when she tries the food she cooks, and look at the good things she has to offer! :-)