Nigella Lucy Lawson (born 6 January 1960) is a British food writer, journalist and broadcaster. An Oxford graduate, Lawson originally worked in publishing, then as a journalist and restaurant critic, becoming the deputy literary editor of The Sunday Times in 1986.
Shes most famous, though, for her bestselling cookery books and programmes, which have won several awards. Her flirtatious (she claims its simply "intimate") style of presenting and stunning good looks has also earned her the title of "Queen of Food Porn." Although her reputation has been exaggerated by the media, its certainly true that this image alone has attracted plenty of fans.
Amazingly, she has had no formal culinary training, and does not like being called a 'celebrity chef', stating: "I am not a chef. I am not even a trained or professional cook. My qualification is as an eater." As a result, her books and programmes take a relaxed, informal approach to cooking, as Lawson believes it should be fun and even therapeutic.
She is the daughter of Nigel Lawson, Chancellor of the Exchequer for six years under Margaret Thatcher. She was married to and had two children with the journalist John Diamond; after Diamond's death, she was later married to Charles Saatchi, a former ad executive (with his brother Maurice, first of Saatchi & Saatchi, and then when they were kicked out of their own firm, of M&C Saatchi), and later of the Saatchi Gallery. Yes, the guy who bought all that crazy art back in The '90s. She is now separated from Saatchi following public allegations of domestic violence.
Nigella, her books and her shows provide examples of:
- Caustic Critic: In her early restaurant reviews for The Spectator.
- Cooking Show: Several, for The BBC, ITV and the Food Network.
- Flanderization: There is a joke about Nigellas work which says that, in her first book, there were pictures of the food; in her second book, after her first TV series, there were pictures of Nigella making the food, Nigella holding the food, Nigella eating the food...
- Food Porn: And how.
- Gender-Blender Name: Her father's name is Nigel. Her name is Nigella. Go figure.
- Impossibly Delicious Food: Makes it all the time.
- It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": In a 2020 episode of her cooking show, she pronounced "microwave" as "mee-kro-wah-vay". Social media had a field day with this.
- Midnight Snack: In most of her shows, the ending credits play over Nigella going to the fridge in the middle of the night to polish off the last of whatever she had cooked in that particular episode.
- Mountain of Food: Instead of wedding cake, one of her books has a recipe for an enormous Croquembouche.
- Older Than She Looks: Many would be shocked to learn her true age. In her earlier shows, her children were shown and they were cute little kids. In the newer ones, her son's a teenager and taller than she is. Nigella herself looks almost exactly the same, save for putting on a bit of weight.
- Pen Name: Nigella wrote part of her journalistic production under the pseudonym "Mercedes Wainwright".
- Purple Prose: This probably stems from her Oxford degree, but by god is the language she uses complex. Analysing a transcript of almost any of her shows will usually reveal words you've never heard of and very long sentences.