Hay Festival: Nigella Lawson's husband prefers Weetabix

By Catherine Evans
BBC Wales News website

image captionNigella Lawson says her love of cooking was a rebellion

She may be a domestic goddess to a major slice of the British population, but Nigella Lawson revealed that her husband sometimes hates her cooking.

Speaking to a sell-out audience at the Hay Festival on Sunday, Lawson said: "He says there's nothing you can cook me that compares with Weetabix."

But she admitted she took any criticism from Charles Saatchi in good humour.

She said she could never be a chef; chefs tended to "live on the edge," but she preferred home cooking, she added.

The writer and presenter attributed her love of food and cooking to a rebellion against her mother's "strange and strained relationship with food."

"I didn't like the tensions around meal times," she said

"My mother was anorexic, bulimic, I don't know which was first. As a young adult about 18 or 19, I thought 'I'm not going to be made to play this game.' My whole life would be governed by this particular struggle.

"I was 15 before I knew there was such a thing as a cookery book."

Despite a love of food, Lawson said she could not work as a professional chef.

image captionCharles Saatchi and wife Nigella Lawson

"Chefs tend to be very dramatic personalities, who like living dangerously and living on the edge.

"Home cooks tend to be slightly more timorous creatures."

She added that she only liked cooking for those she loves, and doesn't like cooking for strangers for fear of being judged and getting the "Simon Cowell treatment".

But her biggest critic is her husband Charles Saatchi.

Asked if people sometimes don't like what she's cooked, Lawson laughed and said: "That happens so often, it amuses me."

"My husband is only happy with things out of boxes."

After cooking a delicious prawn dansak one evening, she was told by Saatchi it was "the most disgusting thing I've ever eaten".

But it was all taken in good humour by Lawson, who, now in her 50s, still attracts a huge male following.

"I find it amusing," she said.

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