Hanging with Nigella Lawson

Sometimes all it takes to make a new experience happen is to speak before thinking.

This is how I came to be invited to the opening of the Chatelaine kitchen where the gorgeous, witty, cooking goddess extraordinaire Nigella Lawson held court. Did I mention she is gorgeous?

Apparently my idea of a celebrity crush is a woman who has a way with words and cooking utensils. This is not what it seems. But this is what led me to quip on Twitter that a friend – who had a legitimate reason for being invited to a publishing event – should sneak me in to meet Nigella. The powers that be took pity on me, or perhaps wanted to avoid hiring extra security to carry me out, and extended an invitation.

Nigella Lawson, cooking, kitchen, Chatelaine Magazine, Chatelaine Kitchen, photograph

Photo by Erik Putz

Once I confirmed my attendance, it was a rampage through my closet to decide what to wear. My work from home uniform consists of yoga pants and a hoodie or an oversized sweater over leggings. Très chic. I’m not so long removed from corporate life to be under any delusions that this would fly, but I haven’t attended events related to publishing either. I expected a room full of creative people dressed in the latest it items, and instead a room full of creative people dressed as they pleased greeted me. Perfect, because that’s how I showed up.

Let’s talk about Chatelaine magazine’s new in-house test kitchen. The space is sleek without losing the homey vibe a working kitchen should have. From now on when I read through the latest recipes within the magazine’s pages I’ll picture the white counters and enviable multi-burner stove where they were created and tested. Now if only I could transport a portion of that space home I too could transform into a cooking goddess.

Chatelaine Kitchen, Chatelaine magazine, Nigella Lawson, kitchen, cupboards, wood floors, photograph

Photo by Roberto Caruso

Chatelaine Kitchen, Chatelaine magazine, kitchen, Nigella Lawson, cupboards, tiles, spices, photograph

Photo by Roberto Caruso

Nigella Lawson, on tour to promote her new Italian-inspired cookbook Nigellisima, unveiled the kitchen while answering questions, telling stories and graciously signing copies for everyone in attendance. When asked if cooking was truly the way to a man’s heart, her bawdy retort of, “To win a man’s heart think a bit lower down and you’ll have it right,” well and truly won my heart.

She went on to share some of the must-haves in her pantry – good salt and unwaxed lemons, as well as her philosophy for creating a great meal: it needn’t be fancy, simple kitchen food prepared with care and then shared with family or friends is the best meal.

I’m not a professional food writer, but I love food and I write, so attending Chatelaine’s kitchen unveiling suited me perfectly. Time to get cooking.


* Thank you for the invite Chatelaine. I received a copy of Nigella Lawson’s book as part of the day’s festivities.

** I briefly (for 1/16th of a second) considered giving away Nigellisima, but then realized I don’t love you enough to give up having a Nigella book sitting on my kitchen shelf. You’re on your own.


Kat @ jackstrawlane

Recent Posts by Kat @ jackstrawlane


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