It’s not much of a stretch to realize that Alton Brown is my celebrity chef crush.
He’s a nerd – glasses, bow-tie, occasional labcoat, and he uses science to explain food. What’s not to love? To paraphrase a great pilot: Were I unwed, I would take him in a womanly fashion.
But this isn’t about AB.
This is about <swoon> Her
Nigella Lawson. I’ve been girl-crushing* hard on her since I first saw her peek into her fridge to pick at the leftovers on one of her show on Food Network many moons ago. I know it’s staged and I didn’t care. I loved the that touch of reality on a cooking show. When I make too much frosting, you bet your ass I’m sneaking in the fridge to scoop out a little bit for a nosh later on.
To be honest, I don’t go gaga over all of her recipes. I have cookbooks from her that I’ve used maybe 2 recipes from, if any. (I use her sour cream chocolate cake recipe from How to be a Domestic Goddess so often that the pages are stuck together with butter and cocoa and have to be torn apart each and every time.) But I will buy the cookbooks and watch her shows none-the-less because I love HER.
I love that she enjoys the cooking process. She finds beauty in drizzling a marinade over her steak or the browning of a pile of cherry tomatoes.
She just enjoys what she’s doing. She’s not actually a chef but can cook any CIA-trained chef under the table because she knows what things tastes good in what combination and she just makes it happen.
I love that she is completely unapologetic. For example, the thing that prompted me to write this post was that I was watching Nigellissima and she said, “It does occur to me that this entire cheesecake is made out of ingredients that comes out of packets or jars. Should I be embarrassed, I’m not,” I used to be really anti-packaged foods in my baking, but then I thought that if it makes my final product abso-fucking-lutely delicious, then why should it matter than Duncan Heinz helped out? It shouldn’t. And hearing Nigella say it just cements it.
I love that she is not a super-skinny celeb but doesn’t hide it, either. She just dresses to her body and looks a-mazing. I wish I could do that. Nigella (and my sister) have this insane ability to just throw on a bright red dress and look absolutely fabulous.
I feel like I throw on a bright red dress and I look like someone tried to put Barbie’s evening gown on a cabbage patch kid. But maybe that’s the thing. They feel fabulous, so they look fabulous. I feel like I look like a hot mess, so I look like a hot mess.
“The joys of food are so great that I really do believe that those who cannot allow themselves to wallow in them have lesser lives. Of course, they have lesser dress sizes, too, and I can see that the trade-off works for many. It just doesn’t for me – or not that way around.” I’ve heard her say many things like this. I love it. I could totally drop those last 10lbs and run a little faster if I cleaned up my diet, but it’s just not worth it for me.
The accent doesn’t hurt, either.
*She is brutally attractive but I don’t swing that way (but maybe…) Really more like I want to be her or be like her or just be besties and sit in a cafe in Florence sipping on latte and eating cannoli with her.