British TV personality Nigella Lawson is known almost as much for her curves as she is for her cooking.
Along with her pal Anthony Bourdain, the food star and cookbook author executive produces and stars in the new cooking competition “The Taste,” which bows with a two-hour premiere tonight on ABC. The show features both seasoned chefs and home cooks facing off in a series of challenges, where the judges pick the best food from a blind taste test based on just a single spoonful of food.
While promoting the show recently in Los Angeles, Lawson was asked by reporters how she keeps that figure when you eat for a living.
“I keep my figure with a lot more flesh on it than anyone else on TV,” Lawson joked. “I exercise a lot because I can never diet.”
“I happen to have small waist, small wrists and small ankles, but the rest of me is quite fleshy, so I have to eat a certain amount to keep that up,” she smiled.
Despite her new “Taste” of fame in the reality cooking genre, Lawson is keeping it real.
“When they took the pictures [for “The Taste”], I said do not airbrush my tummy out. I eat, I’ve got a tummy,” Lawson said.
“The whole of TV is dominated by very thin women and also very thin women many years younger than me,” Lawson continued, “so I just said, this is what I look like, leave it in… And then I thought afterward, AM I MAD?”
Her womanly, maternal instinct also came through on the show, where Lawson was the only female mentor on the judges’ panel, which in addition to Lawson and Bourdain, includes celebrity chefs French chef/author Ludovic Lefebvre and former “Top Chef” contestant and restaurateur Brian Malarkey.
“I felt sometimes I had to stop them from hitting each other, it was like being in a playground, really, sometimes they got very shouty,” Lawson says of some heated moments from the kitchen.
“Tony is always a bit agity but I think he’s achieved that attractive elder statesman status, and he kind of ruled everything, plus he’s so tall,” Lawson said of Bourdain, while “Ludo was just like comedy Frenchman, walked off set a lot, shouted, he was the shoutiest to his team, but also the sweetest, most inspirational teacher.”
As for her own mentoring style, it was a bit more sweet and soothing, like one of Lawson’s luscious bread puddings.
“You can’t have good food coming out of an unhappy kitchen,” that’s what I always say.
“The Taste” premieres with a two-hour episode on Tuesday, Jan. 22 from 8:00-10:00 p.m./ET on ABC.