Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson is the beautiful and accomplished chef, journalist and television personality who came to international renown when she brought out her first book on cooking, the best-selling “How to Eat” in 1998. She followed this with “How to Be a Domestic Goddess” in 2000, and the book went on to win the British Book Award for Author of the Year.

Along with her accomplishments as a writer (she worked as the deputy Literary Editor for The Sunday Times) and cooking expert, she also is widely known for her popular cooking show series, “Nigella Bites,” which began airing in 1999. Her companion book, “Nigella Bites,” won a Guild of Food Writers Award.

An American version of her show, “Nigella Feasts,” was launched by the Food Network in 2006. This was followed by two other successful television programs on the BBC, “Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen” and “Nigella Express.” Ms. Lawson also has a cookware line called “Living Kitchen,” which has a value of $7 million.

Early Life and Family

Nigella Lawson was born into the family of Nigel Lord Lawson. Lawson served as Chancellor of the Exquequer in the Thatcher government in England and later wrote a best-seller, “The Nigel Lawson Diet Book.”

Nigella’s mother was beautiful Vanessa Salmon, who was an heiress to the J.Lyons and Company family fortune. Nigellas’ parents were divorced in 1980 and her mother died at age 48 in 1985. Nigella has noted that she and her mother had a difficult relationship, which she felt accounted for some of her later problems.


Though a good student who went on earn a degree from Oxford University in medieval and modern languages, Nigella Lawson’s early years in school were unstable. She has said that she was very disruptive in her early school years and so had to switch to nine different schools during her early education.

Early Career

Before becoming a published author and TV personality, Nigella Lawson worked in publishing. Initially, she wrote books reviews for “The Spectactor,” and then went on to her post at deputy literary editor at The Times.

Becoming a Cooking Expert

Nigella was inspired to write her first book, “How to Eat,” when she observed the stress some hostesses went through trying to achieve a perfect dish. Lawson has made it clear that she is not a chef, but more someone who loves to cook and share food with family and friends. The philosophy behind her culinary approach is to provide practical tips on food preparation. Her down to earth approach to cooking is a large part of her appeal as a writer and television personality.

Marriage and Children

Ms. Lawson has two children from her marriage to John Diamond. After his death in 1997, she married art collector Charles Saatchi in 2003. They were married for ten years; the marriage dissolved after Lawson accused Saatchi
of abusive behavior.

Since then, Lawson has continued to share her love of cooking with her readers and television audiences across the world.

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