Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Nigella's Post

So I got an interesting email last week from BBC America:

Thank you for taking the time to bring this program to our attention. Unfortunately, at this time, there are no plans to air "Nigella Lawson's Cooking Shows" on BBC America in the immediate future.

However, please know that BBC America takes the opinions of our viewers seriously. Rest assured we will forward your program request [as well as your comments] on to the appropriate department(s).

We thank you again for your comments.

(name deleted)
Viewer Relations
BBC America

First, I often write consumer letters to companies or media outlets to make one of my friendly suggestions or more famously one of my well-thought complaints. I've written letters to airlines, sporting goods manufacturers, hotels, clothing stores, rental car companies, candy bar manufacturers, test prep companies, and the list goes on and on. My friends all make fun of me, but at least I get results.

Second, I am obsessed with Nigella Lawson and I had emailed a request to BBC America to air her shows, which I first saw on a plane to London. For those of you not in the know, Nigella Lawson is Britain’s answer to Martha Stewart for food. She’s similar to Martha in that neither are professional cooks and both try to make the best food look doable for us normal folks in normal kitchens. But she's much more down to earth than Martha and doesn't have that superiority complex that Martha can have if you aren't using the right type of salt. Nigella commonly says "if you don't have this, just use X or just leave it out." You can also see her running downstairs on her tv show in her bathrobe and slippers for a midnight snack.

Nigella actually started as a food writer and this is clear in her cookbooks and her TV shows. She uses the most descriptive vocabulary and imagery I’ve ever heard or read from any food personality. My favorite narrative of hers is describing figs waiting for syrup to be poured over them as "young birds squaking to be fed worms by their mommy." And her pleasant British accent makes her writing sound even better (which is saying a lot coming from me because I hate British accents and British speak)!

Nigella’s philosophy about food is that she believes food isn’t just for eating or satisfying hunger. Food, for her, is a means of communication and is perhaps the most symbolic form of speech out there. Food can mean a sense of empowerment because you’re cooking for yourself. Food is also expressed through many instances of ritualize eating symbolic of our most important holidays. Throughout her books, she takes the reader through a sort of culinary adventure describing the senses and actions that pique while preparing the food and then eating it. Her cookbooks read like novels and are sometimes next to my bed instead of my kitchen.

My favorite book of hers is Forever Summer In it are some of my favorite recipes like the Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova, Figs for 1,001 Nights (broiled figs with orange/rose/vanilla syrup), Soba Noodles with Sesame Seeds served with slices of rare tuna or salmon or steak marinated with the same sauce and a side plate of steamed Chinese broccoli or Moroccan Lamb. And the pictures in this book are great (I honestly do not understand cook books without pictures).

Nigella also just came out with a set of kitchen utensils and accessories. I bought the beechwood serving spoons, the citrus juicer and the Mezzaluna, which looks like a weapon from Raiders of the Lost Ark, but is actually a blade that you rock back and forth to finely chop herbs or vegetables. I would have bought the whole collection if I didn’t have some of the stuff already in my kitchen.

Anyway, I don’t understand why FoodTV has never picked up her show, while Style Network shows it at 7AM on Wednesdays! Furthermore, I have to pay extra to get the package with Style Network. Luckily there are other good channels in the package (like The Tennis Channel) because the other shows on Style Network suck. I really need to get Tivo, which is another topic for another blog entry…


John Kim said...

I've seen her show on the food network... was it dropped?

I can totally see you saying all this stuff. Hilarious.

TCho said...

It must have been dropped. I've never seen it on Food Network.

teahouse said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
teahouse said...

Oh, I didn't read the previous comments. Yeah, I think her show WAS dropped. The last time I saw her on Food Network was about a year ago.

TCho said...

Oh damn. I must have missed her when she was on FoodTV. I miss Jamie Oliver too on the Food Network.

joEy said...

...i luv british accents ... (;

Robin said...

So when are you having a dinner party at your place? If it's good, you'll net Nigella another cookbook sale. I'm in the market for one.

Sorry I've been M.I.A. Been on jury duty vacation.