Nigella Lawson Has A Guilty Pleasure And You'll Love Her For It

“It’s a bit shameful”

Home cook and food writer Nigella Lawson is a culinary goddess. Her debut cook book How To Eat introduced the world to a fresh approach to food – at once sensual, indulgent and yet practical too – and we’ve been enchanted ever since.

She’s hosted eight TV series and added a further 11 cook books to her name in the following 20 years, but we’re not over our fascination yet – in fact, we remain utterly smitten. Given that, we were thrilled to meet Nigella in person during a recent flying visit. And we were even more excited when she revealed that she had something of a dirty secret.

We asked what feeds her love of cooking and food, and her answer was very ‘Nigella’. “It’s greed,” she said. “In a way it’s shameful, but… I’m going to talk about it. I always need to know what I’m eating at the meal after the one I’m eating now.” Question - is it possible to fall more in love with this woman? Answer - no.

Lawson taste-tests some baked goods on MasterChef Australia in 2016.

And it's not only her self-dubbed greed we adore. We also love the fact she eschews the title of celebrity chef as she cooks for pleasure and not fame. She dislikes being called a chef at all actually -  and not for diva-related reasons either. The fact is she has not earned the label. Nigella never undertook formal chef training. She is entirely self-taught. “I don't have a lot to offer with technique, she told ten daily.

“I’m not blessed with dexterity, or an awful amount of skill.”

In May 2018, Nigella will return for her second guest appearance on TEN’s premiere cooking program, MasterChef Australia. Her stint in 2016, dubbed ‘Nigella Week,’ saw the Brit foodie win the hearts of the judges, contestants and viewers too. Her appearance this season – the program’s much-anticipated 10th anniversary – promises more of the same. And we cannot wait.

Lucky MasterChef contestants were treated to a MasterClass with Lawson in 2016.

For someone who claims to have very little by way of culinary technique, what does Lawson have to offer on a program known to produce Master Chefs? Nigella describes it like this. “My usefulness is not so much (in sharing) a great tip or new technique but just to remind people about the point of cooking at its basic level: to give pleasure.”

Pleasure, or the pursuit of it, is central to Lawson’s philosophy, and at the heart of her most recent cook book At My Table: A Celebration of Home Cooking. The 100 or so recipes are achievable, delicious and of course relaxed.

MasterChef Australia airs Sunday to Thursday on TEN and tenplay