by Sybil PrattDecember, 2002
Another joyous food celebration from Nigella
She's savvy, sexy, a superb cook, a ravishing woman with a rhapsodic love for food she's Nigella Lawson, the "Domestic Goddess" who got us. Rarely would I feel inclined to describe a cookbook author in such terms, but this London-based food writer and cooking show star is special. In Nigella Bites the title of her latest cookbook as well as her television series on the Style Network Nigella delights, not just with her good looks, but with her uniquely warm, inviting style. And the book itself is a beauty, printed on thick, coated paper and filled with lush, luscious photographs. Nigella, who says she is "neither a chef nor a performer" (though that claim might be disputed), comes across as a relaxed cook who revels in the pleasure of cooking at home and offers recipes for dishes that she really does make in her own kitchen. The chapters are charmingly unconventional, beginning with All-Day Breakfast and ending with Templefood ("temple" as in body and these particular foods, as in "soothing, pure and would-be restorative"). You'll find Party Girl, Rainy Days, Trashy and more in between. Among the recipes I'll add to my repertoire are a simple, but super Thai Yellow Pumpkin and Seafood Curry, comforting Sweet Corn Pudding, Aromatic Lamb Shank Stew with Couscous, and a dreamy Chocolate Cloud Pie filled with softly whipped cream. Nothing is over-sauced or under-flavored; advice, prep directions and serving ideas are provided with chatty ease; and, most importantly, cooking with Nigella is a joy.