The first I heard of Nigella was on the program Nigella Bites on the E! channel. I quickly fell in love with her easy-going style, her simple cooking methods, and of course her accent. She's just fun to listen to.
Her books are unlike any cookbook I've ever seen. She doesn't merely have an index of recipes and instructions. Her books can be read in the kitchen or in bed. She's quite entertaining. Here's an excerpt from Forever Summer:
So, if you're into cooking at all I highly recommend her books or, at least, catching her show. For me, she not only made cooking interesting, but fun. Oh, and I can't wait to read the newest: Nigella Lawson: A Biography.
Summer food, even when eaten in deepest winter, contains within it the idea of simple cooking. But the best recipes are never blueprints, only ideas hungrily mooted. The ones in this book have come to me the way they always do, plundered from friends, from family, grown out of an idea of what might go with what. As the Australian food writer Maggie Beer has written, “cooking is all about osmosis – a mental note made about a flavour combination or a technique, a memory of a dish”. Cooking is not just about applying heat, procedure, method, but about transformation of a more intimate kind; none of us cooks without bringing our own character to bear on the food in front of us. Just as the recipes that follow have been toyed with, changed, fiddled with to become my food, so I expect them to be remodelled in your own kitchen . . . Life has its difficulties, why add to them in the kitchen? And for all that my title archly conjures up that starlet’s gushing hope – from the premiere scene in Singing in the Rain – that “if I’ve brought a little cheer into your humdrum little lives, it ain't all been in vain for nothin’”, it is not because I believe there is nothing but endless, unclouded blue sky in Nigellaland, but because I still believe that the kitchen is not a place you escape from, but the place you escape to.