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Kitchen Confidential: "Nigella Feasts" on Food Network

I'm a sucker for food television shows. Especially ones that feature that insatiable British domestic goddess Nigella Lawson, author of such wildly popular cookery books as "How to Be a Domestic Goddess," "Nigella Bites," "Forever Summer," and her latest opus, "Feast."

It's the latter book, with its emphasis on celebratory cooking, that ties into Nigella's latest program, Nigella Feasts, which launched yesterday in the US on Food Network. To know Nigella is to love her. And to love her means giving into fat, butter, sugar, and god knows what else in pursuit of deliciously dreamy foodstuffs. If you can't handle a deep-fried Mars bar, this is not the cooking show for you. But if you've got a yearning for chocolate cherry trifle and lamb with pomegranate and feta, Nigella is the gal for you. My girlfriend, formerly hopeless in the kitchen, was transformed by Nigella's "How to Be a Domestic Goddess." Now she makes a pavlova that would rival her teacher's by comparison.

Both on screen and in print, Nigella's descriptions of ingredients and dishes are sensual and atmospheric and have a way of transporting the viewer/reader right into her kitchen. She also doesn't shy away from getting her hands dirty in the kitchen; in fact, Nigella seems to relish it. The effect is intoxicating: food becomes not just nourishment, not just art, but a full-body experience.

Yesterday's premiere episode ("Crowd Pleasers") was classic Nigella: a spicy beef chili, infused with cardamom and cocoa (seriously) and topped with a golden and cinnamon-scented cornbread topping. (I've made it several times and it's always been sinfully delicious) To follow: a chocolate cherry trifle: a classic English dessert made by layering chocolate cake, sandwiched with cherry jam, lashed with cherry brandy, topped with chocolate custard, sour cherries, and whipped cream. Trifle is a particular favorite in the Televisionary household and an absolute snap to make. I couldn't help but drool after watching Nigella make hers.

Like her previous programs, Nigella Feasts features some trademark Nigella traits: an adorable opening credit sequence (featuring upbeat music and animated kitchen-set drawings), the familiar site of Nigella shopping and rummaging through her overstocked pantry. And that charming end sequence that appears at the end of every episode as Nigella wanders down into the kitchen in the middle of the night to take a taste of her refrigerated leftovers. Familiar? Perhaps, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

"Nigella Feasts" airs Sundays at 1 pm on the Food Network.

Comments

This lovely woman can make anyone feel at home in the kitchen. She is sultry, highly intelligent and articulate, and passionate about food. Reading her books and watching her programs are always a joy.
Anonymous said…
"Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly."
M.F.K. Fisher

Nigella brings to mind lovely evenings of sumptuous, collaborative meals shared with family and friends. Her cookbooks are warm and inviting with voluptuous rhetoric. I look forward to a season of celebration with "Nigella Feasts."

T.
Anonymous said…
Hi,
I love Nigella too, I saw Forever Summer and Nigella Bites but do not have cable right now and am missing the series. More than her recipes (I have her books, but I like to listen to her and watch her more than cook her kind of food), I would like to see this series. Does anyone know of folks who may be taping the show and who would not mind sharing for some $$s?

Thanks
email me at amritab@yahoo.com since I do not have an account...
leah said…
Hi I am a gr8 fan of the nigella feast. This show has some quick & easy receips. I ve been watching this program for a very long time now & I love every bit of it. Me looking forward to some quick receips on breakfast & a meal for friends.
Thanks

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