by Malcolm Jolley
When Nigella Lawson entered the ballroom at the Fairmont Royal York there was barely a neck untwisted. Lawson commands attention, and even a crowd of respectable, polite Canadian foodies were not immune to her powers of drawing a gaze. In town for an appearance as part of the Royal York’s “Iconic Voices” series of author events (in this case co-produced with the Ramsay Luncheon Series). The occasion was the publication of Nigella’s latest big cookbook, Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home, a lavishly produced comprehensive tome full, as ever, with Lawson’s trademarked smart, sexy domesticity. Following a dinner Chef David Garcelon culled from the pages, using sustainable, local ingredients, diners sat as The Cookbook Store’s Alison Fryer interrogated Lawson for the better part of an hour on topics ranging from her method (“I don’t develop recipes, I just cook”) to her heroes (“Jane Grigson [was] such a scholar a fantastically unpretentious writer – such an inspiration”) and from her favourites (“Peas, rhubarb and Marsala”) and least favourite (“soy milk”) ingredients to her views on ideological eating (“If your choice is between saving the environment and saving your sanity, save your sanity”). The audience ate from her hand.
Nigella Lawson graciously agreed to give Good Food Revolution the quick, in between courses, interview below. It was filmed literally at the table. While the topic was neither discussed in the interview or on stage, few written pieces on Lawson skirt the subject of her “sexiness”. This eye-witness will attest to her physical beauty and palpable charisma (there seems to always be a sparkle in her eye), but it occurred to this reporter that her fundamental appeal might have as much to do with her intelligence. There is little she has to say that isn’t interesting or to the point. The posh London accent doesn’t hurt either. .. I only wish the waiters had served her last.
This video was made possible through the kind support of Fortessa Canada / Schott Zwiesel.