Thursday, December 3, 2009

Nigella Lawson

If you like food, but don't know Nigella Lawson, you ought to catch her on Food Network or YouTube.

If you don’t like food, you can still learn a lot from Nigella.

I love her.  Not just for her British accent, striking face, or easy, delicious recipes.  I love her because she is unapologetically, fully-blown herself.  Same reason I admire Kendra from Girls Next Door, but that is a different story and a completely different person.

Nigella Lawson stomps around the kitchen, hastily chopping herbs, slamming down bottles, and shoving things in the oven in a hurry.  But it isn’t because she has to force a meal that takes two hours to prepare into a 30-minute time slot.  It is because she naturally moves this way and prefers to cook this way.  And she prefers it because she’s that good at it.  Daintily chopping the onions and sprinkling them slowly into the sauté pan would be as painful for her as swimming alongside me would be for an Olympic swimmer.  In contrast, Giada de Laurentis naturally makes stirring chocolate look like ballet.  And Ina Garten makes a conscious effort to toss the potatoes and carrots together gracefully, but really she wants to dig in and toss the hell out of those veggies in two seconds flat.  I love Ina’s recipes but watching the tension in her face makes me a little uncomfortable.  Nigella is messy, clumsy, and best of all, uninhibited.

And glutinous.  Who among us has not at some point wanted to shove the whole slice of chocolate cake into his mouth as quickly as possible?  We won’t do it though, because the natural instinct to get something so delicious into our bellies as soon as possible is a sin.  Well, watch Nigella Lawson and be liberated.  On national television, she crams carbs into her mouth and displays no shame whatsoever.  We respect her for it.

And she loves language.  Her language is the literary sort, creative and witty and alluding to literature and devoid of all that jargon and cliché buzz words.  She indulges her impatience, her appetite, and now the original phrases that pop into her head at just the appropriate – or better yet inappropriate – time.

She basically just indulges herself.  So we see the real her.  And if we find that refreshing, we might consider indulging our true selves as well.  If we could be so brave.