Nigella Lucy Lawson (born 6 January 1960) is an English food writer, journalist and broadcaster. Lawson is the daughter of Nigel Lawson, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Vanessa Salmon, whose family owned the J. Lyons and Co. empire. After graduating from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University, Lawson started work as a book reviewer and restaurant critic, later becoming the deputy literary editor of The Sunday Times in 1986. She then embarked upon a career as a freelance journalist, writing for a number of newspapers and magazines. In 1998, Lawson brought out her first cook book, How to Eat, which sold 300,000 copies and became a bestseller. She went on to write her second book in 2000, How to be a Domestic Goddess, winning her the British Book Award for Author of the Year.
In 1999, she began to host her own cooking show series on Channel 4, Nigella Bites, which was accompanied by another bestselling cook book. The Nigella Bites series won Lawson a Guild of Food Writers Award; her 2005 ITV daytime chat show was met with a negative critical reaction and was cancelled after attracting low ratings. Lawson hosted the Food Network‘s Nigella Feasts in the United States in 2006 followed by a three-part BBC Two series, Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen, in the United Kingdom. This led to the commissioning of Nigella Express on BBC Two in 2007. Her own cookware range, Living Kitchen, has a value of £7 million, and she has sold more than 3 million cook books worldwide.
Renowned for her flirtatious manner of presenting, Lawson has been called the “queen of food porn”. She is neither a trained chef nor cook, and has assumed a distinctly relaxed approach to her cooking.