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Nigella Serves Up a Feast

Published on October 19th 2004.

Manchester has recently played host to the Food and Drink Festival which has attracted the likes of Ainslie Harriett, Jamie Oliver earlier in the week.
Friday saw over three hundred people queue up to meet Nigella Lawson sign copies of her latest book “Feast”, although there was plenty more to feast your eyes on than just the book!
As the queue began to filter away, the Waterstones shop assistants were frantically wheeling extra copies from their sister store on St Ann’s Square – the fact that Nigella attracted more people than Jamie Oliver the day before may have had something to do with the hefty addition of a red blooded male contingent in the queue.
Maggie Dooley, store manager, tells me copies were selling “thick and fast” with some people purchasing as many as six copies. Hard to say if they were ardent fans or maybe just customers stocking up on their Christmas presents – either way, early sales figures will look healthy for Nigella.
Nigella recently hit the headlines after her husband, the advertising tycoon, Charles Saatchi described her as “sexier than Marilyn Monroe”. Whilst she’s no blonde bombshell, there’s no doubt she has caused a culinary stir in the cooking industry. On meeting her I found her to be calmness personified despite the countless signature requests.
Her enthusiasm and her ability to convey it in her books and in front of the camera have made her a household name. In the days of televised foodery you cannot help but observe that we are instructed in our food preparation by irascible prima donnas or well scrubbed women who have a tendency to be didactic and precise. Then along comes Nigella who comes along and gets it all down herself. She seems to bring an element of fun and reality to the proceedings.
Charles Horton
Feast: Food that Celebrates Life is published by Chatto and Windus. Priced £25

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