Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
Given how much success she has had in her stellar career, asking if Nigella Lawson is a trained chef might seem slightly insulting.
However, despite her undoubted prowess in the kitchen, Nigella Lawson’s cooking origins are somewhat surprising.
With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about her culinary credentials and food origin story.
Nigella Lawson isn’t actually a trained chef (Credit: BBC)
Is Nigella Lawson a trained chef?
No, despite having her own cookbook and multiple cooking shows, Nigella Lawson is not a trained chef. In fact, her self-proclaimed status as an amateur has never changed.
She has remained consistently proud of the fact that she never received formal training and is, to all intents and purposes, self-taught.
In a 2013 interview with The Guardian, Lawson revealed: “I am not a chef; I am not even a trained cook. So yes, I do think the fact that I am a bit of a kitchen klutz, and fit cooking into an already busy life means that I cook in much the same way as my readers or viewers.”
It’s this outlook that has helped make her such an enduringly popular figure in British food.
Nigella Lawson is a former restaurant critic (Credit: PA)
How did Nigella Lawson become famous?
Since she’s not actually a trained cook, you could be forgiven wondering just how Nigella Lawson became so famous in the first place.
Before becoming a TV stalwart, Lawson actually worked as a newspaper columnist and restaurant reviewer. Working for The Spectator, she developed her food credentials as a critic, eventually making the move to The Sunday Times literary supplement.
However, her career really took a turn with the publication of her first book How To Eat.
The 1998 bestseller was a real gamechanger, establishing Lawson as a distinctive voice in food. Over 300,000 copies sold in Britain alone, paving the way for a stellar career on television and in print.
She hasn’t really taken a backward step since.
Nigella: At My Table has proved a huge hit with fans (Credit: BBC)
Does Nigella Lawson still have a cooking show?
In her career to date, Nigella Lawson has penned around a dozen bestselling cookbooks and made countless TV appearances.
Some of her most popular shows include the classics At My Table, Nigella Bites and Nigella Feasts.
Lawson has also made several prominent cameos for major food TV franchises, including MasterChef, The Taste and Iron Chef.
Even though she’s been on the air for over two decades, Lawson shows no signs of slowing down.
In late 2020, she debuted her latest show, Cook, Eat, Repeat, focused on the “rhythms and rituals of her kitchen”. This year, the public has also been treated to a repeat of her hugely popular 2017 series At My Table.
While there is no official confirmation on whether a new show will arrive in 2021, it’s clear that Lawson has not lost her appetite for making mouth-watering telly.
Nigella Lawson divorced her husband Charles Saatchi in 2013 (Credit: PA)
Is Nigella Lawson in a relationship?
Nigella Lawson split from her second husband, Charles Saatchi, in 2013 after photographers captured the art collector grabbing her by the throat.
Although he would later describe the incident as a “playful tiff”, Saatchi was accused of casual cruelty by Lawson. She filed for divorce and the couple reached a private financial settlement later that year.
Since then, Lawson has kept details of her personal life very private.
Lawson’s first marriage to the journalist John Diamond ended tragically with her husband’s death from throat cancer.
Due to her understandable desire for secrecy, Lawson’s current relationship status is unknown.
Whichever way you look at it, Lawson has certainly made the most of her considerable talents (Credit: Alamy)
How much is Nigella Lawson worth?
After spending several years as one of the most well-known figures in food, Lawson has amassed a considerable fortune.
In 2008, she declared her wealth at around £15 million. Estimates today have put the total as high as £25 million – making her easily one of the most successful food personalities on the planet.
Whichever way you look at it, Lawson has certainly made the most of her considerable talents.