British celebrity chef Nigella Lawson opened up about her values, work philosophy, the MeToo movement and more during an appearance on NewstalkZB radio. The 58-year-old beauty arrived in New Zealand earlier this week to promote her new book, At My Table, and was greeted with homemade bread and local Lewis Road Creamery butter.
Speaking live on air, Nigella revealed her personal view on success and failure. “No one does something hoping to be a failure at it. When I do something I want to do it well. I’m slightly driven by a fear of failure. I’m more of a fear-driven person”, she admitted. “Success is ephemeral. You have to feel like you like what you’re doing.”
She went on to discuss the active role she has in her business and why being so involved is important to her. “I don’t put my name to anything, I’m completely hands-on in everything I do; that matters to me”, she said. “When I did my last contract with the BBC I said I just want you to know that this is what I do – I’m too old to be told what to do by anyone else. Obviously, I write my books but I also do the food for the shoot, I’ve worked with the designer for ages, I’m very hands-on with that. On the TV, it’s not scripted, I just kind of do my own thing.”
When asked about gender inequality in the workplace, Nigella said: “The world has a lot of sexism and obviously all institutions do to some extent”. She added that she didn’t worry about what other people earnt. “I don’t compare myself to other people, ever.”
She also praised the MeToo movement. “It challenges the assumptions along which society has gone for quite a long time and I hope will lead the way to a rethink of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable behaviour”, she said. “I think there will be some changes, how they get incorporated into various institutions it’s hard to say… I feel there will be unsatisfactory ways that will carry on as well. It’s very hard in this life to be a completely outgoing optimist.”
turning to her true passion, food, Nigella said she wasn’t concerned about traditional foo cultures changing. “If you look at the food cultures that are traditional and fairly regimented, like Italian for example – there’s no danger of that being eroded”, she said, adding that she encourages home cooks to experiment. “There are different languages in food… I don’t think it matters if you mix things up a bit.”
She finished up by recommending seasonal eating. “I believe in making the most of what’s in season, but I’m not embarrassed of augmenting what’s around.”
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