She’s one of the world’s most famous food writers, who doesn’t like to be called a celebrity chef, but Nigella has sold millions of cookbooks and fronted a stint of successful cooking shows over the last 18 years, making her one of the most successful foodies in the UK.
After a tumultuous few years following her very public split from art collector Charles Saatchi, Nigella recently admitted that getting back into the kitchen helped her get over her marriage breakdown.
She said: ‘Food has this wonderful ability to connect me with the world in a way that makes me feel grounded.’
We’ve all got our favourite go-to Nigella recipe, but how much do you know about the domestic goddess?
Here are 9 things you might not know about Nigella Lawson…
1. She’d rather enjoy her food then be slim…
Being a famous chef, it’s natural that Nigella loves her food. And while we think she always looks fabulous, Nigella has admitted that she couldn’t care less about looking slim… she’s a woman after our own hearts! She once said: ‘I remember Elizabeth Hurley once said, “It’s either the cookie jar or the size-six jeans”. Well, fair enough. She would rather the size six jeans, I would rather the cookie jar.’
2. She loves sharing her creations on Instagram…
From fresh mussels, to baked goods and delicious looking pasta dishes, Nigella loves to share a bit of #foodinspiration on her instagram account. She’s got 939k followers that love to see her creations and recipes she’s testing – she often posts links to the recipes she’s whipped up on her website too, so her fans can try them out themselves.
3. She likes her men hairy!
Nigella has said: ‘Hairy back, hairy everywhere. I don’t understand why a woman would want to be with a hairless man. If I was going to go for someone smooth, I may as well be a lesbian.’
4. Her last meal on earth would be huge…
As a chef, she’s tasted a LOT of different food, but what would be her last meal on Earth? The Nigellissima author says it would be spaghetti with clams, but that’s not all: ‘I don’t think you have enough space for everything I’d eat for my last meal! I’d have spaghetti with clams – no tomatoes, just a white wine sauce with chilli and garlic; roasted chicken with a side of chips and roasted potatoes and mashed potatoes; blue cheese with French bread; blackberries with heavy cream and cookies. Finally, I would have some great coffee with salted caramels.’ Not much to ask we think…
5. Her favourite novel is by Charles Dickens…
Nigella told us one of her desert island books would be David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, she said: ‘This novel tells you all you need to know about character, the making of a person and the fullness and sufferings of life. It’s so rich in narrative, you just want to gorge on it.’
6. Nigella isn’t a trained chef…
And she admits to never reading a cookbook until she was 15. She says she learned to cook with her mother, making béchamel and mayonnaise to kick things off.
7. She hasn’t always been a food writer…
Before she became the foodie we all know and love, Nigella actually worked in publishing. She began her career writing book reviews for the Spectator, before becoming a restaurant critic in 1985. By the time she was 26, Nigella became the literary editor at The Sunday Times before going freelance and writing her first cookbook, Eat Well, in 1998.
8. Nigella can start food trends…
When Nigella said that goose fat was an essential ingredient for Christmas dinner, sales in Waitrose and Tesco doubled, and when she used prunes in a recipe on her programme Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen in 2006, sales of the dried fruit in Waitrose went up 30%.
A year later she used Riesling wine in a recipe in her book Nigella Express and sales of the drink also went up. If Nigella uses it, chances are it will start selling fast!
9. She once ate 30 pickled eggs for a bet… and won £1000!
And it hasn’t put her off eggs one bit it turns out. Nigella shared the story on The Graham Norton Show, saying: ‘How stupid to challenge me! I made them all put their money on the table in front of me. The next day I had scrambled eggs for breakfast.’
Essential Nigella Stats
- How old is Nigella? 57
- How tall is Nigella? 5’7
- How many children does Nigella have? 2, daughter Cosima and son Bruno, with her first husband John Diamond.
- Who is Nigella married to? Nigella was married to journalist John Diamond until his death from throat cancer in 2001. She was then married to art collector Charles Saatchi in 2003 until their very public divorce in 2013.
- Who are Nigella’s parents? Nigella’s dad, Nigel Lawson, is a former Chancellor of the Exchequer, her mother Vanessa’s (née Salmon) family owned J.Lyons and Co, a successful food and catering business.