Nigella Lawson behind every dish she posts on social media

Sue YeapThe West Australian
VideoAhead of her Australia wide tour, Nigella Lawson joins Today Tonight to talk food and family.

Fans of domestic goddess Nigella Lawson will be heartened to learn the beloved home cook is behind every delicious dish she posts to her 1.6 million Instagram followers.

“I am, yes,” she confirms.

“I don’t do an awful lot; I do recipe of the day and bits of what I eat. I try to answer someone’s question if they have a question or respond to a picture, say ‘It looks lovely or whatever’.

“I do try to do that as much as possible. I don’t farm out; I don’t get someone else to do it.

“You can probably tell it’s me, I don’t do recipe of the day at the right time. If I employed someone who was so inefficient, I’d have sacked them by now!”

Lawson took her love of food photography to the next level with the launch of the dedicated food photography app Foodim with her long-term cameraman.

But she doesn’t think screens have a place at the family dinner table.

“I do know many people have terrific demands on their time and they can’t all sit down to a meal every single day, but I think what gets in the way of people sitting down to a meal together is people being on their screens,” she says.

“I think you have to say no screens at the table.

“I do take photographs of what I eat ... so of course I don’t want to be hypocritical but I think it is so easy for people to be in their own little world and that’s not helpful.”

Lawson was in Australia earlier this year filming another anticipated Nigella Week for MasterChef Australia, which starts on Sunday.

Nigella Lawson
Camera IconNigella Lawson

She was in WA twice in as many months, for Margaret River Gourmet Escape in November and then for her live stage tour in January, taking tips from locals on where to eat and returning to favourite spots.

Lawson ate some “incredible potted rabbit” at Cullen Wines, enjoyed pastries from Corica backstage at Riverside Theatre and dined on prawns with cucumber salsa, chilli and charred lemon at The Shorehouse.

“It is a nice place to be,” she says. “Perth feels to me very much like a city that is branching up and things are happening, it is getting quite an exciting vibe to it, isn’t it?”

For Nigella Week, contestants will face a mystery box of items from their pantry and fridge, an invention test featuring the return of the relay, a pressure test and more.

Do her challenges have to get harder each year and does Lawson ever protest they may be too hard?

“Sometimes I do, yes. Actually, I went ‘Oh no, don’t make me do that to them’,” she laughs.

“I would say the challenges in my week are a really good mixture. Some are very hard I agree but on the other hand my frame of reference is very much home cooking. So it is really also about trying to build confidence and say ‘You can look at food that you might not think of as MasterChef food and really work it up from there’, then later they will go on to put more of a spin (on it) or bring something different.

“It is just a reminder, about, I want to say, why food matters to us. It is food that we love and it is bringing people pleasure. These are really basic things but it is quite important because you need to get all that right before you can dazzle.

“So, yes some of the challenges are very difficult but yes to be honest everything in MasterChef is there to help them more. It is not called a challenge for nothing.”

Lawson was pleased to hear that last year’s WA contestants — Jenny Lam, Samira Damirova and Brendan Pang — had all gone on to success and that Pang had recovered from the deep cut he sustained during the last Nigella Week (Pang will soon open Bumplings dumpling kitchen at Sunshine Harvester Works in Fremantle).

“How fantastic, I am so pleased,” she says. “It doesn’t surprise me that everyone goes on to do these great things, I think they learn so much in the course of MasterChef, it gives them both a real confidence and a real appreciation of the importance of commitment. I have to say I was very worried about Brendan ... he is a boxer isn’t he as well. I thought ‘Oh no’, when he cut himself, I thought ‘Does this mean he won’t be able to box and he won’t be able to cut’.”

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