Nigella Lawson is a celebrity in the world of cooking. She started as a journalist in London writing book and restaurant reviews for The Sunday Times, where she eventually became deputy literary editor. She then embarked on a career as a freelance journalist writing for a number of newspapers and magazines.
In 1998 she brought out her first cookbook, How to Eat, which sold 300,000 copies and became a best seller. She has gone on to become a television personality, gourmet, restaurant reviewer and food writer. She wrote her second book in 2000, How to Be a Domestic Goddess, which won her the British Book Award for Author of the Year.
She had a television program called Nigella Bites, which was very successful and launched a new career as a television presenter. Another best-selling cookbook. Nigella Bites, won Lawson a Guild of Food Writers Award. She hosted the Food Network's Nigella Feasts in the United States in 2006.
We met her at the Margaret River Gourmet Escape in Western Australia in November and had the chance to ask her a couple of questions. The Margaret River Gourmet Escape is a well-known international annual celebration of food, wine and cooking in the wine growing region of the state of Western Australia.
The Daily Meal: Where do you buy the ingredients you cook with?
Nigella Lawson: I do things on a very small scale so it's not like I have to source 10 kilograms of mushrooms. I'm just cooking for my family or my friends. I have a really nice relationship with my butcher, my fishmonger. It's really important to cultivate those relationships otherwise they're not going to exist anymore, those butchers and fishmongers. I also go to the supermarket because one, it's convenient - I go to a good supermarket and I choose organic, beautiful produce - but I cook meat in the same way that my readers and viewers do. I do a mixture. I also have a green grocer that I've known since I was in my 20s.”
I can't spend my life sourcing food all of the time. London is a very cosmopolitan city so I can walk out and get beautiful preserved lemons but often it is Waitrose [supermarket] because it's there and I'm a normal person cooking under normal conditions.
Having said that, it's a real treat to be here. The produce in Australia is magnificent and I've always been influenced by Australian food and cooking, and I've written about this before.
What are your plans for the future?
I'm not a planner. So sometimes I might learn something here that makes me want to do my own version. I do enjoy coming across new flavors and then somehow building them into the way I cook. When you cook, you have to speak in your own voice, you can't be a ventriloquist. So it's about taking inspiration.
What's exciting is not planning what I want to do next but suddenly being inspired and going off in that direction.