With ‘wellbeing’ on the tip of everyone’s tongue, there are few chefs around who really make us feel like it’s okay to indulge; to add that extra dollop of cream or sprinkle just a bit more cheese onto an already calorie coated dish. Nigella Lawson is one such chef – set to grace Cardiff’s New Theatre this month for a one-woman, culinary chinwag on the back of her book, Cook, Eat, Repeat, the latest in a string of 12 bestsellers.
“Food, for me, is a constant pleasure,” Lawson says of the cookbook that inspired the event. “I like to think greedily about it, reflect deeply on it, learn from it; it provides comfort, inspiration, meaning and beauty…” After roughly two decades in the public eye, she’s still the poster woman of ‘oh, go on then’ when it comes to the way we eat.
Not that the TV chef is averse to what’s in vogue these days. After trying to be a vegan (a diet that has exploded in popularity), Lawson caved after just two weeks, citing a “sudden” craving for eggs. “As far as I’m concerned I want to eat proper food […] We have the teeth for meat and so it’s natural for us to want to eat it,” she told the Sunday Times. “I know it’s an argument that a lot of vegans disagree with… I respect that position but I feel that I’m not ready.”
It’s certainly hard to imagine someone so closely associated with rich and ‘naughty’ delicacies like meat and dairy making a permanent plant-based switch. Lawson is absolutely aware of her status as someone who brings a warm sensuality to cooking, and perhaps a little critical of it: “Everybody likes to think cooks are nurturing,” she said to the Guardian last year, “but maybe we’re just controlling – controlling what people eat.”
Nurturer or controller, Lawson is bringing her years of wisdom on tour with her on the back of both the Cook, Eat, Repeat book and TV series. Expect insights into her recipe inspiration and sermons on the joy of “brown food.”
New Theatre, Cardiff, Fri 26 Nov. Tickets: £25-£35. Info: here
words HANNAH COLLINS
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