Nigella Lawson: The ‘Queen of Food Porn’

I am a foodie- food, food, food. And as such, I’ve been addicted to cooking shows my entire life. From Julia Child on PBS to the endless programming on the food network, I can’t get enough. Watching people cook- whether it’s on the television, computer, or watching my mother as a bothersome child- it’s my own personal mode of meditation. Seeing this written so adamantly almost makes me feel like I have an issue.

Without really being able to put my finger on why, I developed strong preferences, or rather non-preferences, for certain TV personalities. The likes of Alton Brown, Giada De Laurentis, Paula Dean and Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa) make the cut but ‘click’ goes the TV if Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay, or Tyler Florence invade the screen.  It’s not their recipes, it’s not their voice (minus Ms. Ray), but it’s just something that makes me not like them. Sorry. I call forth negativity in order to truly capture the positive note I’m about to hit upon.

Which brings me to Ms. Nigella Lawson.  I was flipping through the channels on the plane while traveling home this past holiday when a vivacious British beaut flashed across the screen. It must have been the lyrical nature of her voice that gave me pause, or the luscious lighting, or perhaps they finally invented smell-a-vision, either way, I was immediately hooked.

After watching her special called “Nigella Christmas,” I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of this woman before.  Everything about the special was pure magic. Instead of harsh studio lighting, her crew drenched the screen is dark, warm tones that seemed to reflect the soothing and comforting nature of her food. Instead of a monotonous reciting of steps or forced energy, Nigella instructed with ease and true passion, using such words as ‘the clattering of the chocolate chips’ and other seemingly Shakespearean mouthfuls. Her background as a food writer is evident, and her title, the “Queen of Food Porn” is apt.

After doing some research, I’ve learned that she started on BBC for years before the food network picked up her show. She’s written countless books, is widowed but remarried, turned down an OBE from the Queen, and is 50 years old but stunning. I have since scoured youtube for snippets of her shows, and have yet to be bored or disappointed. Unapologetic with caloric ingredients and as likable as the food she makes, Nigella is a treat.

Below is a youtube playlist of Nigella clips for your endless entertainment. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of her in the US soon, and that words like ‘bicarb’ and ‘caster sugar’ and ingredients like ‘black currant jelly’ will become absorbed into our own dialogue.

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