In her latest book, Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home, award-winning cookbook author Nigella Lawson tantalizes readers with mouthwatering takes on comfort-food favorites such as the perfect roast chicken, a decadent chocolate-fudge layer cake and slow-cooked stews.
How old were you when you first started cooking?
I was around six or seven. It wasn’t so much because I wanted to cook or did it recreationally but because our mother put my sister and I to work helping her in the kitchen. We would stand on chairs by the cooker, stirring whatever was in the pot with big wooden spoons.
What do you love about cooking?
My family says I have monkey brains because my mind is always scattered with thoughts about this, that and the other thing. When I cook all that noise subsides and I can have a quiet moment to myself. I really do relish in the everyday task of cooking, just so I can have those contemplative moments.
What was your inspiration for creating Kitchen?
This book is simply the story of my love affair with the kitchen. Whatever the opposite of the still fashionable genre, “the misery memoir,” might be, this is it: “a comfort chronicle.”
How did you create the recipes featured in Kitchen?
All the recipes stem from the questions I ask myself every day standing in my kitchen. What should I make for lunch today? What should I make for supper? What will my children want to eat? There were no ambitious plans to include a set number of recipes or invent specifically for the book; they are all recipes that I have made for my family and friends over the years.
When you are traveling for work, what is your favorite hotel room perk?
I adore fresh sheets. I lie in bed studying the room-service menu.
Where was your last vacation?
I recently went to Italy with my husband, which was fantastic. But really I love vacationing at our house in Cornwall. The kids all come with their friends, we have breakfast on the beach and then we’ll gather for dinner in the evening for a huge meal.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, in partnership with Random House, launched the Iconic Voices series in 2010. Previous salons have included a Q&A session with Life of Pi author Yann Martel.