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Review of Nigella Express

Nigella Express

After the Christmas debacle I didn’t think Nigella Lawson could sink any lower. I was wrong.

I decided last Christmas that I was never again watching or buying anything that Nigella Lawson did after her horrendous TV series. The fake family scenes recorded during the summer were just ridiculous.

But I’m a sucker for punishment and just finished watching an episode of her new series which is all about cooking quickly, a theme which has been done a thousand times. Oh how I wish I’d watched the rest of “Crisis At Jimmy’s Farm” instead.

There is just one word to describe this series – “fake”. From the getting out of bed to the frankly objectionable scenes with her poor children, nothing about it is real.

Whoever advises her, whoever produced this and whoever directed it need to find new careers because this rubbish is one step below Big Brother.

As someone who is currently grossly overweight I will also happily comment on her weight. A huge part of her popularity has been the come-hither nonsense and hair flicking. I’m sorry but that just doesn’t work any more when you are heading into Demis Roussos Kaftan territory.

But what about the food? A mix of good and bad. I object to any show which is about cooking and uses Thai curry pastes. What is the difference between using them and saying “empty a jar of Dolmio Bolognese sauce over the mince”?

The steak and white bean mash was a variation on an Avoca recipe we use all the time. The Avoca one is nicer but I’d still recommend what Nigella did.

I liked the idea of the chickpeas and rocket with chorizo and scallops as it includes a lot of things I like but when it was dished up it looked terribly dry. Caroline Bibliocook’s chickpea, spinach, tomato and chorizo dish is far superior and we use it all the time. Caroline’s dish is also great for feeding veggies as you just cook off the chorizo separately.

Dreadful dreadful TV but with the possibility of an acceptable spin-off book where the food can sing and the claptrap is minimised.

Rated 2/5 on Sep 11 2007 by Conor O’Neill
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  1. Kate, last time I checked, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall filmed Winter in Winter and Summer in Summer and not a fake acted scene with his kids to be seen anywhere.

    I think there is a deeply important authentic programme still to be made by someone about cooking fast, inexpensive healthy meals for people on tight time and money budgets. But it won’t be Nigella who makes it.

    I guess if you’re ok with Nigella’s Fakespress and so are enough other people then they’ll keep making this stuff and she can be the Benny Hill of the cooking world.

  2. Kate, that’s cruel! I only say such things because I care.

    Most of the food in the show has been OK I think. I’ve even tried a couple and found them fine. Bit over the top with the fast ingredients for sure, but store-cupboard recipes are always welcome. And I’m sure Waitrose are grateful for all the generous publicity (when did product placement become so explicit on the BBC?)… It’s the way that she does it that maddens me… and given the investment that I’ve put into her earlier, far superior work, I feel entitled to criticise. To put it another way, it ain’t what she does…

    But each to their own.

  3. hi, there me again, elaine… im not going to pretend i wrote the following, i read it today in the Sunday Times …
    Nigella Bites ””’ and swallows – put the doughnut down and step away. What the flick has happened to Nigella Lawson? The poor woman has ballooned in her latest TV programme. Nigella Express,she promises food on the hoof, but the way she scoffs, its more of a stampede. Carb crammed criossants at the bus stop, fat fuelled soups in the back of a taxi 0 Lawsons grab a kebab approach to nutrition will seal your fate faster than you can say “blocked artery”. Where are those super pert knockers, that cheeky clinched waist and hair to sell a kidney for? Gone the way of cashmere clad potato with a snacking disorder, thats where. Its like an lonesco inspired plot, where woman becomes fridge and a fridge becomes woman – as soon as our Nigella opens her mouth, a light goes out.

  4. Sorry for delay in your comment appearing Elaine, you got stuck in the moderation queue for some reason.

  5. connor… im pretty moderate lol

  6. WordPress really doesn’t like you :-) That comment got stuck in the queue too!

  7. you know – what’s wrong with you people. Her show is fine, has good tips, great eye candy in that you get lost of colore and flirtation. Her weight isn’t that bad at all – in fact, she is a beautiful curvacious women. She looks healthy and it is an enteraining show with some good tips at the end of the day. There are lots and lots of chefs on the food network that cook with full fat and mostly the Men are over weight so why are picking on her. I’m guessing the ratings are great and we’ll let the numbers speak for themselves.

  8. Martha Stewart looks great from a distance too.

    Anyway, it’s not all about Nigella. Check this out:

    A most amusing site…

  9. What a damn shame! I have always adored Nigella, and yet here we are with yet another show, NIGELLA EXPRESS. It is an abomination to say the least – both to TV AND to cooking!

    I still watch repeats of Nigella Bites, Forever Summer, and Nigella Feasts with great delight, because these, really did have a level of authenticity to them, as well as a decent amount of cooking. This new series NIGELLA EXPRESS, fails miserably to get my cooking juices flowing.

    The scripted interactions with her friends and family, and the awkwardly fake chit-chat she makes with the camera are too much for me! I think her script must look something like this:
    (*BAT EYELASHES TWICE* “I just LOVE the way the lettuce squeaks under my knife” *BAT EYELASHES, and SEXY SIDEWAYS GLANCE AT CAMERA TWO* “Just look at this GORGEOUS mayonnaise, dolloped straight out of the jar – what could be simpler?” *OBLIGATORY LICK OF THE FINGERS, SEXY LOOK AT CAMERA ONE, BAT EYELASHES TWICE*)

    Whenever it’s on, I flick over to see if it has improved, and yet I am abysmally disappointed, so much so that I am often caught hurling popcorn at the TV by my husband!

    I feel as though the producers of this series sat down and said “Right, we’ve had phenomenal success with these last few series, let’s watch them over and pick out all the things that worked” …. THEN they wrote it into a script, and forced Nigella, her poor kids, and ever-growing group of friends, to say the lines. It just doesn’t work, not one bit! Then add to that the incredibly SILLY food she is “cooking” in this series, and you’ve got a BOMB.

    As for her physique, I don’t understand the comments about her looking fat … she’s looking pretty damn good for a 48 year old if you ask me.

    I just wish she had a little more integrity when it came to producing another series … look at Rick Stein – no matter how many series he creates, they are comfortingly humble, and yet so magnificent to watch. In every series, Rick is ALWAYS himself – no excuses, no bullshit.

  10. What is wrong with everyone, do they have to always pick on someone that shows how to be yourself on television, why do one have to be so stuck up to have a good cooking show.
    I live in canada, and I love Nigella Express and all she has written in her cookbooks I have them all, I have made and it all turned out wonderful, so people please lighten up, of course while you are talking about Nigella you are leaving someone else alone.

  11. Well the reasons they’re picking on her are fairly well documented above. But you allude to the biggest one when you ask why ‘they have to always pick on someone that shows how to be yourself on television’. We old Nigella admirers know that if that’s her being herself then she must have had her personality reconfigured over the last ten years or so. It’s the phoniness that’s hard to take…

  12. well said Robert … I still love Nigella, I just wish she hadn’t become a caricature of herself ;)

  13. Love you , Nigella !! You are a fabulously beautiful woman…….
    Marry me !!

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