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Wednesday 1 October 2014

Caitlin McBride: Why I've fallen for Nigella

Published 08/01/2014 | 10:43

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It was the moment all foodies were waiting for - Nigella's triumphant return to our screens.

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Not in a courtroom, not in a sit-down interview baring her soul to the highest bidder, but doing what she does best - food television.

I've been dutifully following the Lawson/Saatchi drama from the beginning and what I hope now, is the end. And much like I admired Nigella holding her head high with class during an excruciatingly embarrassing trial where all her dirty laundry was aired; she embodied the same elegance on last night's episode of The Taste.

While the show was likely filmed before her legal woes and publication of her husband grabbing her throat, in recent weeks, she has promoted the programme with diligence and managed to avoid publicly shaming anyone - including herself.

And it seems I'm not alone in my  growing girl crush on the embattled Lawson. I watched The Taste at home with friends, two females and one male - one who has a long-lasting and lingering love affair with her.

As a result, I've been recently lured into more cookery programmes and despite my unique ability to burn toast, I can appreciate another's talent in that field. And while some may criticise her recipes nad her carefully crafted 'home cook' image; she definitely has talent in spades.

Every time the three judges came on screen, I was drawn to Nigella's presence - her immaculate makeup and perfectly coiffed hair. As usual, a strategically worn, curve-hugging dress, which, as it was pointed out, she looked and sounded 'perfect'.

She held her head high much like her dramatic courtroom entrance, which swayed her back in public favour.

My one disappointment was, as the one female on the judging panel, she's embraced the 'mother hen' role, hugging a contestant who cried at being rejected and later defending Bourdain's comments that he should 'toughen the f*** up', by saying, 'He's just a child'. He was 18 years old, so whether or not he should be treated with kid gloves is up for debate.

But like any reality tv competition, each of the three judges has a character to play. Nigella is the Paula Abdul - the doting mentor; Anthony Bourdain is the no-nonsense Simon Cowell and French chef Ludo Lefebvre - the underdog who lets his talent speak for itself.

To quote my nest best friend Nigella, his food is 'the best she's ever eaten'. And because of her stamp of approval, I want to try it more than ever.

While initially recruiting Lawson for The Taste, I assume producers were thrilled with securing Lawson as the female front-runner of the show - now, after the year she's had, I imagine they were ecstatic.

She's brought a new element to the type of show we've seen a million times before. While The Taste might be the culinary version of The Voice - their star is Nigella. and judging by Twitter trends and newspaper coverage this morning, I'm not alone in my thinking.

 

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