For someone who grew up doing the most ordinary things, I feel awfully lucky - and grateful - that my life now consists of some more extraordinary adventures. Take last Monday, for example. Instead of hanging out at home working, walking the dog, or doing the laundry - my usual morning tasks - I was headed downtown with Mardi to meet Nigella Lawson. Did you read that sentence? Let me write it again: I met Nigella Lawson.
There are plenty of popular celebrity chefs in the world, and while I love Nigella's recipes and her approach to cooking, it's her words that have me most captivated. In fact - and now you'll know just how big of a dork I really am - I used to keep a notebook on the counter in the kitchen, and when I read an inspiring bit of Nigella's prose I would jot it down into the pages for future inspiration. Now, I can confidently say that she speaks with the same charm, and it was such a treat to hear her share some of her cooking wisdom.
The event took place at the new Chatelaine test kitchen, a stunning space nestled in the centre of the magazine's office, which includes four ovens,15 stovetop burners and two high-powered silent dishwashers. To say I had kitchen envy would be a tiny bit of an understatement.
I received an advance copy of the book a few weeks ago and have worked my way voraciously through the pages. I tackled the meatzza - a flat, round meatball topped with traditional pizza toppings - twice, a recipe Nigella herself declares as numero uno in the book, and the Italian breakfast banana bread, a damp loaf peppered with espresso powder and smeared with Nutella. I've also made the parmesan shortbread, a classic homemade cracker perfect for both the school lunchbox and to serve as a party appetizer.
The kind folks at Random House Canada have generously offered a copy of Nigellisima for one lucky Family Bites reader. The giveaway will end on Friday March 1st at midnight, and the book will be shipped next week. Here's how to enter:
1. Leave a comment on this post telling me which (if any) celebrity chefs or food writers you admire.
2. Like Family Bites on Facebook.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, because Rob definitely was, she's far more beautiful in person than she appears on television.
Update: Congratulations to Kathryn! You've been contacted via email.