Masterchef

Nigella Lawson reveals why she won't join MasterChef Australia full-time

The guest judge opens up about what's holding her back

By Karina Recchi and Zara Zubeidi
There's one thing Nigella Lawson can relate to when it comes to the MasterChef Australia contestants: things going wrong in the kitchen.
While she's secured a reputation for herself as an international cooking sensation, she too has experienced her share of catastrophes.
"I've had many kitchen disasters and have learnt so much from them," Nigella tells TV WEEK. "So many of my favourite recipes have come about because of something going wrong – and it's how I had to rectify that that actually made the dish better."
Nigella, who stars on the series this week as a guest judge, explains that the ability to rescue a dish is something she has in common with the contenders.
"I've seen that on MasterChef: often a contestant doesn't have time to add everything she or he intended, and it's better for being pared down and rejigged spontaneously," she reveals.

And while she's comfortable with all she's learnt and is able to pass on, Nigella, 59, is firm about one thing.
"I am emphatically not a chef!" she declares. "Yes, I write about food and cook it on TV, but I'm very much a home cook. I had no idea I'd end up being a food writer. I was 38 when my first cookbook was published!"
Despite her humble opinion that she's no more than a "home cook", Nigella feels a real sense of pride watching the Season 11 stars grow.
"It's been a very inspiring time," she says. "I really loved getting to know this season's contestants, and seeing them getting ever more confident about cooking their food.
"There were some gorgeously memorable dishes. But I have to say there were some hair-raising moments too!"
Indeed, while Nigella hints the series is full of surprises, she describes the show as "dazzling", and at this stage can't predict a winner.

"This is what makes it so fascinating," she says. "There's such a lot of talent. It's hard to say who will grow in confidence and learn and blossom, and who will find the pressure too much as the competition moves forward."
What she does know, however, is what her future looks like. And it's most definitely not on MasterChef Australia as a permanent judge.
"I absolutely adore being in Australia, but I wouldn't move here full-time," she says. "My children, my family, and so many of my friends are in the UK. My ideal would be to come here for two to three months a year. I certainly miss it when I'm away from it."
So what's next then, we ask?
"I'm not quite sure, as I'm not a planner," she says. "I'll continue developing my food-photography app, which has been a fun project for me – and I'll be working on a book. It's undecided as yet, as I have a few ideas on the back burner.
"I think I'll be making a Christmas TV program, but who knows what I'll actually do? This is both exciting and a little frightening – the way I like it."
MasterChef Australia airs Monday to Thursday, and Sunday, 7.30pm, 10

read more from