Nigella Lawson's lemon pavlova is one of the many recipes featured in the Brit chef's new book.
British chef and author Nigella Lawson is culinary royalty on both sides of the pond. We recently sat down to chat about her favorite Chicago haunts, her new book Simply Nigella: Feel Good Food, and her go-to holiday recipes.
What was the inspiration behind the new book? At certain stages in your life, you start taking stock, evaluating what matters, and what gives you joy. I wanted to grab that and go with it. For me, food has the ability to make us strong, feel good, and give pleasure—as much in the cooking as in the eating—and the recipes in Simply Nigella emanate from this belief.
You’re speaking at the Chicago Humanities Festival this month. It’s such an honor to talk about the ideas behind food, and what it says about life. For me, a recipe is so much more than just a unit of instruction.
What’s the first table you hit when you land? The minute I know I’m going to be in Chicago, I make a reservation for Table Fifty-Two (52 W. Elm St., 312-573-4000).
Any places you’re dying to try? I always want to eat Rick Bayless’s food, but I love trying new places, too! At the top of my list are Grace (652 W. Randolph St., 312-234-9494) and Parachute (3500 N. Elston Ave., 773-654-1460), though nowhere does a steakhouse like Chicago, so I’m pretty keen to go to Chicago Cut (300 N. LaSalle St., 312-329-1800), too.
What do you make for the holidays? I make the same spiced-brined turkey every year. And I just love holiday baking: When my cider and five-spice Bundt cake is in the oven, the whole house smells of the holidays.
Nigella Lawson appears at the Chicago Humanities Festival on November 8, (Benito Juarez Community Academy Auditorium, South Lafl in Street and West Cermak Road, 312-661-1028)