Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson Biography

Writer (1960–)
Domestic goddess Nigella Lawson is a best-selling cookbook author and internationally known television host known for her distinctive philosophies on cuisine.


Nigella Lawson was born in London, England, on January 6, 1960, eventually pursuing a career in publishing and becoming a celebrated cookbook author with titles like How to Eat. Renowned as "Domestic Goddess," Lawson is also a popular TV figure with shows like Nigella Bites and The Taste. Her marriage to Charles Saatchi made headlines when pictures surfaced that appeared to be abusive.

Background and Publishing Career

Nigella Lucy Lawson was born in London, England, on January 6, 1960. Her mother, Vanessa Salmon, was part of the Lyons Coffee House clan and her father, Nigel Lawson, later became a member of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's political cabinet. An avid reader, Nigella went on to attend Lady Margaret Hall College at Oxford University, where she earned a degree in medieval and modern languages.

Lawson decided to pursue publishing, and by the mid-1980s, worked as deputy literary editor for The Sunday Times before embarking on a freelance-writing career, penning stories for a number of prominent publications in the United Kingdom. Having developed a passion for cuisine after becoming The Spectator magazine's restaurant critic in 1985, she eventually helmed a bimonthly food column for The New York Times and was appointed food editor at British Vogue.

Lawson wed fellow writer and broadcaster John Diamond; the couple had two children. Diamond died from cancer in 2001, with Lawson's mother and sister Thomasina having both previously died from the disease as well.

Book and TV Career

Nigella Lawson made her literary debut with the cookbook How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food, published in 1998 in Great Britain and 2000 in the U.S. She soon made a splash on television as well with her first show Nigella Bites, which debuted in the U.S. in late 2001.

Lawson has also written several other books, including How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking (for which she was named Author of the Year by the British Book Awards), Feast: Food to Celebrate Life and Nigella Kitchen: Recipes From the Heart of the Home. She's sold millions of copies of her books globally.

Lawson is a prominent figure on the Food Network as well, having hosted the shows Nigella Feasts and Nigella Express along with other programs on Style and E! Entertainment Television.

A Sensuous Icon

Lawson is renowned for her beauty, warmth and a culinary approach that celebrates the sensuousness of cooking and eating. She continued her TV work with the seasonal recipe show Forever Summer With Nigella, which made its U.S. debut in 2011; two years later, she served as executive producer and featured judge on the ABC reality cooking competition, The Taste.

Marriage to Charles Saatchi

Lawson married wealthy art collector and ad agency founder Charles Saatchi in 2003. Concerns about abuse in their relationship made headlines in the summer of 2013, when pictures surfaced of Saatchi grabbing Lawson by her throat and nose outside of a Mayfair restaurant. Lawson was noted to have left the scene visibly distraught. Saatchi later received and accepted a British police caution for assault, and soon after announced plans to divorce.

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