Nigella Lawson flirts her way through US television debut
British celebrity cook makes seductive appearance on first episode of new US reality show, The Taste
NIGELLA LAWSON used all of her "feminine charms" to begin an assault on the hearts and minds of America's cooks last night as she made her US debut on a new ABC cooking programme, The Taste.
The 53-year-old "looked incredible" in a low-cut red dress, says the Daily Mail's Louise Saunders, as she and her fellow panellists, the irascible New York chef Anthony Bourdain, San Diego restaurateur Brian Malarkey and French chef and author Ludo Lefebvre, critiqued dishes made by contestants by blind taste-testing a single spoonful.
The winner of the reality show - which has been described as a culinary version of the singing competition The Voice - will get $100,000 and a new car.
Lawson has made herself "incredibly svelte for American audiences," writes Rachel Ray in the Daily Telegraph. She has positioned herself as the show's "domestic goddess" who defends home cooks and provides a natural counterpoint to the gruff Bourdain, who is best-known for his tell-all book Kitchen Confidential. True to form, Lawson repeatedly used the word "comforting", says Ray.
Lawson and Bourdain are the programme's real stars, says The Guardian's Emma Keller. She is its "siren in a red dress", he is its "satyr". "He's a sexier, darker version of Simon Cowell or Gordon Ramsay," writes Keller, or, as Lawson put it in one of several memorable lines from last night, "He's the Mick Jagger of food".
British celebrity chefs have had mixed experiences in the US in recent times. Jamie Oliver's show Food Revolutions turned him into a "national hate figure" in 2010 when he tried to lecture Americans about their diet. Gordon Ramsay has been rather more successful and still hosts four cooking shows on the Fox network.
The Guardian's Keller says Nigella Lawson is perhaps an unusual choice as a judge on a show that is only concerned with taste, because she's a cook who "prides herself on the texture and presentation of her food".
Still, Lawson seems to have enjoyed the experience. "I needed that loving spoonful," she tweeted after the show went to air last night. ·