By Jessica Allen - Monday, February 18, 2013 - 0 Comments
Bestselling author and TV personality Nigella Lawson visited the new Chatelaine test kitchen powered by GE this morning to talk about her new book, Nigellissima, a collection of 126 Italian-inspired recipes. We had a chance to speak with Lawson about food writing, the pressures of a non-Italian tackling Italian recipes and the virtues of vermouth.
A: I will, and do you know what I love most of all? Seeing a really old, used, beloved copy. It always warms my heart.
Q: This book is actually the way I came at the discourse of food writing 16 years ago, and via you I was introduced to other food writers, namely Elizabeth David and Anne del Conte and so on. So I’m curious to know how you arrived to the subject.
A: Completely by mistake. It was a long time ago so I was relatively young and I always thought that I wanted to write a novel. And then one day my late husband John said to me, ‘You think everyone is as confident in their attitudes towards food as you are–you should write about it.’ This [How To Eat] isn’t really a recipe book–there are lots of recipes in it–but it’s a different sort of book. It’s about talking about food and why it matters. So I spoke to my agent and asked what he thought and he said let’s do it. And I said, ‘I don’t really know if I want to do a food book.’ And he said, ‘Before you write a great symphony just do a few chords. This will be it.’ Of course I wrote this book and realized I didn’t want to be a novelist. I’m not a novelist. I felt I found my voice through food. So it was just an accident. At the time I was journalist–not even a food journalist; I’d write about anything–but you see the thing is food is not to be left to the experts because we all eat. We eat everyday and food is such an important part of our lives, not just in terms of giving us all sustenance but emotionally it explains so much about us. So I wanted to write about food in its context–sometimes historically and sometimes I suppose sociological, and sometimes just purely personal. So for me it’s just the biggest subject in the world and I love every aspect of it.
By Jessica Allen - Friday, December 9, 2011 at 4:32 PM - 0 Comments
I adore lasagna; all kinds of lasagna. I love the sort my mom used to make with canned mushrooms, slices of processed mozzarella and ground beef flavoured with garlic powder and onion; I love the classic Canadian version that other mothers used to make (the one with cottage cheese smothered between layers of noodles, a tomato-dense meat sauce and grated mozzarella from a plastic bag); I love President’s Choice and No Name frozen lasagnas, even though they take, like, forever to cook in the oven; and I love the quintessential lasagna alla Bolognese that comes courtesy of the Italians in Emilia-Romagna, a north-eastern region famous for producing Ferraris, Fellini and food.
They’re so crazy about food in Bologna, the region’s capital and arguably the gastronomical capital of the country, that they even codify classic recipes, for posterity’s sake. Like lasagna alla Bolognese. How does this version differ from what many Canadians grew up eating? Continue…