Let's Eat

Nigella Lawson says she's done with 'unrelaxing' dinner parties

The celebrity chef said she'd rather her friends come over 'in pyjamas'


MIAMI BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 27: Nigella Lawson attends the Goya Foods Grand Tasting Village Featuring MasterCard Grand Tasting Tents & KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstrations during 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival Presented By FOOD & WINE at Grand Tasting Village on February 27, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for SOBEWFF®)

The woman who forever changed the received pronunciation of microwave is heralding another cultural shift: The death of the dinner party.

“I’ve got out of the habit of it,” Nigella admitted, speaking to the Times. “I keep planning to have people round in a proper, grown-up way, but I haven’t yet…I feel a bit guilty”.

Nigella has taken instead to having just a few people round for a buffet-style meal. “I’m happy for a friend to come over in their pyjamas to have supper,” she said.

Clearing plates and cutlery is “so unrelaxing” and she would rather feed her guests some finger-food Twiglets are a favourite, she told the Times.

But Nigella says she has always prioritised "abundance and flavour" over performance. “Greed is an enormous source of inspiration,” she said. “I like abundance and I feel that’s easier to do with one course”.

Nigella's advice to make dinner parties less formal comes after this year's Waitrose Food and Drink report revealed that over a third of UK adults (34 per cent) think that the term ‘dinner party is old-fashioned, and 29 per cent said they wanted entertaining to feel "effortlessly casual."

This isn’t the first time Nigella has sparked culinary controversy. From marmite spaghetti to putting cream in her carbonara, the Jewish chef's food is for “eaters,” she told the Times.

That’s not to say she isn’t changing with the times, though. Nigella hasn’t just abandoned dinner parties, but is cutting down on her meat consumption. “I eat less meat than I used to,” she said.

She’s choosing avocado oil over olive (although hasn’t abandoned her “Italophile” tendencies), and boosting her gut health with homemade kefir. Vegan food “interests me,” she said. “I never find it annoying”.

Nigella has even hopped on the trend of intermittent fasting (where you only eat during an allocated time slot each day), albeit accidentally. “I tend to just have lunch and supper but not breakfast,” she revealed.

She isn’t fasting, though. “I feel that my tummy isn’t open for business at that time,” she explained.

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