Nigella Lawson

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I am what you'd call a domestic slut.
She loves her food. ~ Liz Brewer

Nigella Lawson (born 6 January 1960) is an English journalist, food writer, and television presenter.




  • There are two Christmas traditions I've inherited from my mother. One is the feeling that Christmas isn't complete if you haven't got a ham as well as a turkey. It means that the leftovers are much better. And in a curious way, despite the fact that we're talking about Christmas and ham, it's a very Jewish thing to want to provide a huge spread. I always cook for eight, but make enough to feed 30...
  • While I am sure there are a number of women who secretly wonder whether they are lesbian, most simply have, somewhere, a fantasy about having sex, in a non-defining, non-exclusive way, with other women.
  • My sister lives in New York and she was struck by how class-ridden the reviews were. Everyone had to mention that I'm posh. British people are obsessed by that. I said to John, 'I'm not posh.' Is my voice posh?"
  • It’s true that I wouldn’t have written the first book had my sister and mother been alive. It was my way of continuing our conversation. It's also this Jewish thing of naming and remembering people, and I think there is a sense of keeping that side of life going.
  • The thing I liked about writing about food when I started it was that I felt I was writing about food in a different way. Not like a food writer.
  • I used to refer to myself as Typhoid Mary. It wasn't that I was jinxed, I just seemed to bring ill fortune to anybody I was close to.
  • Cooking aside, I am what you'd call a domestic slut. Cooking is really the only domestic activity I enjoy. I would do anything not to do the normal bits of household work - it's not one of my strong points.
  • It's like I can never watch myself on TV unless I have to do some editing before a show comes out. It's like hearing your voice back on a tape recorder and I'm sure you know how horrible that is. I always look for the worst things in myself - criticising my hair and stuff. I'm very self-conscious about it all.
  • [A]ll food images, if they are successful, have the power to arouse appetite. They should be luscious and sexy. I have no embarrassment about the culinary come-on. But that's the limit of my erotic intent. I am always surprised when people read double entendres into my innocuous babble.
  • I think cooking should be about fun and family. [...] I'm not a trained chef. I don't pretend to be and I think part of my appeal is that my approach to cooking is really relaxed and not rigid. There are no rules in my kitchen.
  • I think sometimes that people assume because I'm on television I'm an expert, but I think the whole point of what I do is that I'm not and I don't have any training. [...] My approach isn't about a fancy ingredient or style. I cook what I love to eat.
  • I always wanted to be called Caroline [...] Carolines were always very nice in books.

"A woman of extremes" (2001)

Quotes from "A woman of extremes" by Nigel Farndale in The Daily Telegraph (May 2001)
  • I don't wear anything in bed. But I'm not ready for a nude scene quite yet.
  • I took a fortnight off. But I'm not a great believer in breaks. I don't want to be rattling around inside my own head. I did feel I was spiralling into a Kathy Burke character and tried going out, but I prefer it here. Filming keeps me busy. It absorbs me.
  • I was shy as a child. Now I'm not really shy any more, unless I'm with shy people. I find it contagious and I don't know what to say. But I don't think shyness is something one should feel apologetic about.
  • I am greedy. I eat under stress. When you are eating, the rest of the world is tuned out. And when you tune back in you feel guilty about having been greedy and the rest of the world is still there, so you have to carry on eating!
  • I don't take criticisms personally, which must be very annoying for people who mean them personally.
  • Some people did take the domestic goddess title literally rather than ironically. It was about the pleasures of feeling like one rather than actually being one.
    • Regarding her second book, How to be a Domestic Goddess.


  • But I do think that women who spend all their lives on a diet probably have a miserable sex life: if your body is the enemy, how can you relax and take pleasure? Everything is about control, rather than relaxing, about holding everything in.

"60 Seconds: Nigella Lawson" (2006)

Quotes from "60 seconds: Nigella Lawson" by Andrew Williams in Metro (5 December 2006)
  • It's not meant to be flirtatious. Listen, I don't have a presenting style, I'm just me. I don't have the talent to adopt a different persona. It's intimate, not flirtatious.
  • It wasn't really a chat show, it was a magazine show. I looked at it as a summer job. As long as no one makes me interview a celeb again, I'll be happy. It wasn't what I signed up for but, of course, nowadays everyone likes celebs. I'm pretty bored of them, though. I wasn't interested and couldn't be bothered to pretend I was.
  • [O]besity isn’t caused by those who adore food. People tend not to put on weight through eating meals. I’d say it’s people who eat non-stop.


  • Everybody likes to think cooks are nurturing, but maybe we're just controlling – controlling what people eat.
  • Sometimes I think food preoccupies me too much. [...] The only thing that keeps me going at the theatre is thinking about what I'll eat afterwards, although now I bring sandwiches because I can't bear it
  • [Asked if cookery writing is a form of intimacy] I think there both is and isn't. I feel that writing about food allows one to be utterly honest, and personal, and in no way guarded. But, in some sense, it's a metaphor for the personal, rather than being actually personal. It's not revelatory, I would say. It's personal without being confessional. That's the kind of personal that I feel more comfortable with.

Quotes about Lawson

  • No doubt there can be a shy, reserved side to Nigella Lawson - and some people interpret this as coldness - but it is not in evidence today. She seems flamboyant, if anything, and perhaps this is a persona she can slip in and out of (John Diamond once described her as 'a gay man trapped in a woman's body').
  • Nigella inhabits a strange world of extremes: she has experienced extreme tragedy, extreme success and has the advantage of extreme beauty.
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