After a tough year, the domestic goddess returns in The Taste.
Nigella Lawson has had a year riddled with conflict. After a very public divorce from art mogul Charles Saatchi, Lawson suffered a minor blow to her reputation, when she was accused of a cocaine addiction during the fraud trial of Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo. The Grillo sisters were cleared of unauthorised spending of £685,000 on household credit card and taxi accounts, but Nigella didn’t escape the trial unscathed, and was forced to admit to her rrecreational drug use.
2013 wasn't a great year for the domestic goddess.
Now, after winning the public’s sympathies with her treatment of the accusations, Lawson is taking another crack at the American entertainment market with the second season of The Taste – a cooking competition, on which she is a judge.
"What I liked, not being terribly confrontational as a person, is that because you taste everything blind, you're never making any judgments on a person and you're just talking about the food," she said in a recent Radio Times interview, via the Guardian. "So much of reality TV is the theatre of humiliation or in some sense the culture of the breast-heaving backstory, so to have a food competition that is actually about the food is … rather pleasant."
Lawson is "not terribly confrontational" and seeks harmony through food.
Since the trial, Lawson has criticised the "deeply disturbing" process of being a prosecution witness, which she thinks has focused too much on airing details from her personal history, rather than the criminal trial itself. In regards to her admission of drug taking, Scotland Yard has subsequently said it will review the evidence. Lawson however, is much more concerned with her career at present. For Radio Times, she was interviewed alongside her fellow judges on The Taste, chefs Ludo Lefebvre and Anthony Bourdain. When asked about the difference between home and professional cooking, Nigella had this to say: "What I would say – and this is not about the food, it is about the personality – is that, as a general rule, chefs are conflict-driven, they are perfectionist, they are risk-takers," she said. "Whereas home cooks tend to be conflict-averse – well, I am – not necessarily risk-takers, and we seek to use food to bring harmony, for whatever reason."
Whether this harmony-driven philosophy will help The Taste become a hit in the US remains to be seen. The second season premieres on ABC on January 2, while the first season will premiere in the UK on January 7.