"John, my late husband, said to me, 'You always talk about food in this really confident way. You should write about it!' So I did." And look where that has led her.
With her sensuous voice, soothing presentation and homely cooking style, Nigella Lawson has become one of the biggest names in the culinary world and a universal favorite. But for her, cookery is not just her profession, it's something that brought peace and direction to her when she was in one of the darkest phases of her life.
During an interview with The Australian Women's Weekly, she revealed how cooking helped her cope with the tragic death of her sister and husband. She mentioned that she loved cooking for her sister and talking to her while she cooked. This in a way brought her closer to her sister Thomasina.
"I like cooking with people who know me well and know my kitchen well," she explains. "I used to love cooking with my sister, Thomasina. I loved cooking for her and with her and just talking to her while I cooked," she said.
Thomasina lost her battle with breast cancer is 1993 and Lawson tried to fill the void with cooking and friends. While she missed her terribly, she found her comfort and peace in the kitchen, doing what she does best.
She also believes that cooking can heal an ailing heart and ease out a grim situation, "If you have a friend or a child or anyone who is going through a difficult time and wants to talk about things that aren't easy, I think you stand much more of a chance if you're chopping some carrots at the same time," Nigella said.
The next blow she was subjected to shook to her very core and she had to struggle to find stable ground. Her first husband and father of her two children, John Diamond, passed away from throat cancer in 2001. John was a man she absolutely adored and to have him taken away from her at a very early stage in their marriage - they'd been married 5 years - she understood that even a single moment wasted in life is like a lifetime lost.
This time 20 years ago, I was at the launch party for my first book, How To Eat. Looking at this photo makes me happy, but also very sad. I wish I could be in John’s arms now pic.twitter.com/ORocR4PFDt— Nigella Lawson (@Nigella_Lawson) September 28, 2018
She has earlier revealed that John was one of her biggest supporters and with his encouragement, she went on to write her first cookbook. "John, my late husband, said to me, 'You always talk about food in this really confident way. You should write about it!' So I did," she told according to Mirror.
Her husband's immense confidence instilled in her the courage and zeal to go ahead with what she loves to do and the rest, it's safe to say, is history. "I did this one-off book in 1998, so then I was asked to do TV and I said no, then I said, 'look, if I can do it in my own kitchen and I can be totally unscripted, I will do it'! I don't do it in my own kitchen anymore but I won't ever be scripted!"
Her husband's loss has made her aware of the unpredictability of life and how nothing is going to be as it is right now, therefore, the best one can do is cherish the moment they are living in. "I don't want to waste life. It feels so ungrateful not to take pleasure. You have to take pleasure in life while you can because people have that ripped away from them," she said, as per Daily Mail.
During these unstable years of her life, it was cooking that helped her be herself and find a place to rest in too. She knew that the culinary arts had a deep impact on her life and the lives of people she loved and nothing could comfort her more than what brings all of them together.
What she has become is nothing but the result of love. The love that her husband and she had for each other and her love for cooking, that made her a household name and a culinary icon. According to Mirror, one of the last things he's believed to have told her was, "How proud I am of you and what you have become. The great thing about us is that we have made us who we are."