Saturday, 12 February 2011


Whaaaa. Due to the uncomfortably freezing weather, we had to skip and hop on the way to the nearest tube station heading for the studios somewhere near the Strand to witness the shoot of an episode of Nigella Lawson's television show. Within the BBC maze, we found our way to a pretty large studio barn where she was decked in a bright pink pant suit standing beneath a flood light warming herself while chatting with an aide as the production team attended to finishing touches for a spring set. I previously held the view that celebrities like her might be a mere product of media sensation and I therefore adopted a cautious appreciation of their pronounced competencies.

That afternoon however transformed my personal beliefs about Nigella. There wasn't any sugar-coating around the lady. The episode she shot was on typical desserts and despite the unnatural environment of a studio set, I was ready to grab the first dish out of camera view. I was convinced that she knew every part of what she did and acted on. There are many others out there who would probably know how to prepare the same dishes (and perhaps with better taste) but Nigella was something else. She came to the medium fully qualified with her ability to communicate effectively the content of her craft; in her ambiiton to infect the audience with the desire for a unique gastronomic experience out of what may be considered as ordinary food fare available in our cupboards or from the local markets. 

Best of all was a comment from a colleague, "watching Nigella is like watching soft-porn. It is just too powerful". Watch her on youtube and see for yourself why.

Fortunately just like Jamie Oliver, Nigella does not work from or even manage a restaurant as that would translate to an overflow crowd every evening with reservations extending into three years. With husbands calling in the reservations! Now that El Bulli is changing into a laboratory of gastronomy after July, it had to close all reservations as early as a year ago. Where can we go to? Bobby Chinn has a resto in Hanoi and Kylie Kwong has one in Australia.

Gastronomy has opened up in the last decade proving that the world is indeed a small place as far as food is concerned. I wouldn't be surprised if this would be the next frontier of battle: food scarcity (not new!), world domination through cuisine, trafficking of spices and herbs, currency pegging to essential food commodities. Therefore, power to whoever wields the values (e.g., quality, quantity, pornography) behind food.


  1. This is one battle I would surely fail miserably.

  2. It's interesting that I didn't find it entirely strange that "food" and "pornography" can exist in the same sentence. Hehe.