Tuesday, February 19, 2008

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)

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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