I didn’t really understand the British craze about celebrity chefs until I ran into Nigella. She’s what I’d want to be, if I still believed in fairy tales. She’s beautiful, for one thing, and disturbingly sensual. Her shows are so obviously ‘fake’ that I really adore their kitch edge (come on, who goes out partying with friends, come home with perfect hair and make up, and prepare the batter for tomorrow morning’s something? I admit I did do it, but never with perfect hair, and cursing myself all the time). Her books are surprisingly learned, and her writing is funny and interesting. And on the food side, there is no cheating: her recipes are just spot on, accurate, and as fuss free as home cooking can get. For instance her italian dishes make enough sense even to an Italian, and this is quite uncommon. This Middle East inspired cake, from Feast, is a great example. It is assembled in minutes, it tastes divine, and it is dead easy to make.
July 26, 2009
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