Her acrimonious split from Charles Saatchi has hogged the headlines, but Nigella Lawson says that she hates conflict.
The TV cook and “domestic goddess” told how she avoids confrontation in a Radio Times interview to promote her new TV show, The Taste.
The interview, alongside her new co-stars – chef Ludo Lefebvre and food maverick Anthony Bourdain – took place six weeks before allegations of Lawson’s drug use emerged in the fraud trial of her former personal assistants, Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo.
The sisters were acquitted and Lawson admitted during the trial that she took cocaine with her late husband John Diamond when he found out he had terminal cancer, and in 2010 when she claimed she was being ”subjected to intimate terrorism“ by her former husband Mr Saatchi.
Police are to review her admission that she took the Class A drug.
In her interview for The Taste, which is being broadcast in the UK on Channel 4, Lawson said that she used “food to bring harmony – for whatever reason.”
Talking about her US TV show, which has been described as MasterChef meets The Voice, she told the magazine: “What I liked, not being terribly confrontational as a person, is that because you taste everything blind, you’re never making any judgments on a person and you’re just talking about the food.”
Lawson, who is also an executive producer on the show, added: “So much of reality TV is the theatre of humiliation or in some sense the culture of the breast-heaving back story, so to have a food competition that is actually about the food is ... rather pleasant.”
Asked what the difference is between professional chefs and cooks like her, she added: “What I would say – and this is not about the food, it is about the personality – is that, as a general rule, chefs are conflict-driven, they are perfectionist, they are risk-takers.
“Whereas home cooks tend to be conflict-averse – well, I am – not necessarily risk-takers, and we seek to use food to bring harmony – for whatever reason.”
Lawson added that she had felt “incredibly frightened” about going to Los Angeles to do the show.