Nigella Lawson at Chatelaine’s GE Test Kitchen

It was 10:30 am when I found myself marching up Jarvis Street. The sky was a beautiful rich indigo blue and the sun was out in full force warming my face as a sharp nip in the air quickly reminded me that Toronto is indeed still slugging through winter.

I arrived at the Chatelaine office shortly before 11am. After picking up a media kit I sauntered through their brand new Test Kitchen powered by GE Cafe. I felt a buzz of energy in the room as folks nibbled on bowls of sweets and sipped on glasses of sparkling. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to check out the unveiling of Chatelaine’s new test  kitchen to be christened by British domestic godess, Nigella Lawson.

Nigella was in town promoting her new cook book Nigellissima which features easy Italian inspired recipes. I had been following her journey from San Francisco to Toronto via Twitter and was pleased to see she enjoyed a proper feast at David Chang’s Momofuku Noodle Bar on her first night out on the town.

Let’s be honest. I’ve had a gay crush on Nigella Lawson since high school. She is one of the few woman on earth that I really do feel could “turn me.” I have spent countless hours watching her chop up shallots in her kitchen while romantically filling her fry pan with dabs of butter. She taught me how to make risotto and in many ways inspired me at a young age to pursue my passion for preparing food from the heart. Was love at first sight, Lordy I’m smitten.

Shortly before 11:30 am the kitchen was buzzing with chitter chatter. The media were out in full force snapping pictures while servers whisked themselves around the room offering up nibbles. I marked my territory, standing alone in silence at the front of the room to ensure I would have the opportunity to capture spectacular shots of Nigella.

She took the stage at 11:30am with an ecstatic crowd, camera ready. She posed with her signature smile, shutter speeds a flurry. Nigella then quickly chirped to her assistant who handed her an iPhone which she used to take a snap shot of the crowd standing before her. Over the course of the next hour Nigella articulated her love for entertaining and cooking in her kitchen. I was standing about two feet from the tip of her nose as she humoured the crowd with tales of her children and failed dinner parties.

Chatelaine Food Editor Claire Tansey led Nigella through an entertaining conversation. A few lucky members of the audience also had the opportunity to quiz the domestic goddess in a round of follow up questions. Guests spent their final moment with Nigella waiting in line to have a quick chat as she signed their very own copy of Nigellissima.

…And there I was crouching beside Nigella. Thankfully my mind was clear and words rolled off my tongue with ease. I welcomed her to Toronto and mentioned how happy I was that she had an opportunity to feast on David Chang’s steamed buns the night prior. I let her know I am a dedicated fan of her new show The Taste and was certain to point out that she taught me how to make my first pot of risotto. For a few brief moments I was in heaven. I crouched beside her as she scribbled, “Love Nigella,” and thought to myself, “the next best thing would be the signing of our wedding papers.”

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