Sunday, November 18, 2007

I Met Nigellla!

It's said that some people are motivated by money, some by love, and some by recognition. I love prizes. It doesn't even really matter what the prize is; I just love winning something.

When I was told that I had won the recipe contest I was thrilled that I had won. After all, a free cookbook is a free cookbook. That I got to get it personally signed was not a big deal to me.

The day of the book signing my husband, two little kids and I arrived about 20 minutes early and I was puzzled to see that the lower floor of the bookstore where the signing was to take place was filled with people. What was the crowd for? Surely they weren't all there to buy a cookbook and get it signed.

The source of my mystification? I'd never really heard of Nigella Lawson. I might have looked at one of her cookbooks in the library and seen some of her recipes blogged, but to me she was someone who wrote cookbooks. Sound strange? Here's the explanation. We are possibly the last family in the country to not have cable television. Don't need it, don't want it. But this means that I'm woefully out of touch with the celebrechef culture. No Food Network. No "Bam!" No Italian cleavage. And no Nigella.

But once Nigella was introduced and began to speak, I got it. I understood the crowd who adored her. First of all, she's gorgeous. She looks like a 1950's movie star. And she's got a beautiful speaking voice. And she's articulate and funny. Oh, and she does some cooking, too.

I loved how she championed the home cook, saying that chefs were making it an intimidating thing to put dinner on the table. She did a Q & A and told her favorite books (David Copperfield and Persuasion), related some anecdotes from her show, and talked about her writing schedule. I thought something her late husband told her was profound - that the ritual of putting off writing is part of the writing process. It allows thoughts to percolate so that when you sit down to write everything flows.

After she spoke the bookstore had the three contest winners come up and we all got swag. Not just a whisk or something, but seriously good swag! Check out the pictures below to see what treats I got to bring home. My son was so excited that I got a prize with a bow; he wanted to open it right away.




The winners then got to be at the head of the line to get our books signed. Nigella was very gracious and kind as she signed, asking which recipe was mine and commenting on it. I can see why people love her.

My daughter and I pored over the cookbook together. I let her pick what I'm going to make first from it (I'm not telling, except to say that it's pink). It's starting to bristle with bookmarks, just like all my favorite cookbooks.

This is my first Nigella cookbook, but I doubt it will be my last!

22 comments:

Peabody said...

I was never that in to her until I saw here Chefography on Food Network(because I do need cable TV). She had such a zest for life that I could not help but fall for her. Plus I love that fact that she is gorgeous but still has a body that shows she actually eats her food.
Looks like you got great swag!

Kristen said...

Oh how exciting! That is a great amount of swag. What is the container with the little silver balls? I'm ingrigued!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I'm so delighted for you Lynn! I'm also delighted to know that really good people like you win things! You got great swag! I'm so excited to see "pink" that your daughter picked!
I like the writing comment!

thecoffeesnob said...

Oh, i adore Nigella for her love for all things food and for making cooking and baking seem far less intimidating than it usually sounds. Of course, her hot English accent doesn't hurt too.

I can't wait to see what you make first from her book :)

DianneM said...

You are a "winner". I am so proud of you for your hard work and determination. You set the bar high for the rest of us! YEAH! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!

Carla said...

That's so awesome you got to meet Nigella! I never watched her show nor read her books, but my friend had tried few of her recipes, and they turned out great. Congrats to you on winning.

Melinda said...

Many congratulations! I hope the spatula comes with directions so you can lick it properly like she does during her shows. It has the men in a lather here. (hmmm!)
Well, you know I like her.

Cheryl said...

Congratulations on winning the contest. How lucky you are to meet her, she seems like and awesome lady.

Chelsea said...

Nigella is fun to watch. Congrats on winning and the cool swag. I am jealous!

Deborah said...

I have thought of all of the extra time I would have if I didn't have cable tv, but I am addicted to food tv - so I guess it's not that bad!!

I don't have any of Nigella's books, but have just started watching her show. She does seem to be a great example for the home cook. Congrats on winning!!!

Gigi said...

Congrats! I just love her too! I love how she seems to live and cook with passion. Great looking swag!

Kelly-Jane said...

I am a huge fan of Nigella, how wonderful that you got to meet her! and swag too :)

Loking forward to seeing what you cook :)I've marked more than a hundred recipes from NE!

VeggieGirl said...

Oh how I envy you, Lynn!! I absolutely adore Nigella Lawson, and would LOVE to meet her - she's by far my favorite Food Network chef!! I've met Giada de Laurentiis before; she was quite friendly and nice, but Nigella seems so much more worldly and down-to-earth. Enjoy that cookbook tremendously, Lynn!! :0)

Nan said...

Congratulations! Your loot looks seriously excellent! Nigella is so beautiful on TV, and I love that she isn't stick-thin.

Hungry Hamster said...

Ooh! Congrats on the prize!! Looking forward to more great food and beautiful pictures from Nigella's recipe soon!

Aimée said...

Wow, that is really cool. It is exciting to meet someone in person after reading their stuff. I'll never forget meeting Tony Bourdain!
Congrats on your gift basket!

eatme_delicious said...

How exciting to win that contest. :) What recipe did you enter? (Sorry if you mentioned it in a post already, I'm so behind on reading food blogs.) And yes that does look like some great swag!

eatme_delicious said...

Oh nevermind I read further on in your blog and found out. That mousse deserved to win! :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

This is wonderful, Lynn!
I'm such a fan of hers, I find her gorgeous!

Nora B. said...

Hi Lynn,
Congratulations!!! And what a treat that you won all those goodies. 's actually a good idea not to have cable. When I lived in the US & Canada, I was addicted to Food Network. Seriously. Even the re-runs captured my attention.

Enjoy the book - I look forward to seeing your Nigella creations.

Anali said...

Congratulations! That is so cool! I don't have cable either, but I see her all the time on the morning news shows. I really like her too. She's classy, has great recipes and not screaming and over the top like many tv cooking people. I won't name names...

Elise said...

How cool is that? Nigella is gorgeous, nice to know that she is so gracious in person.