Nigella Lawson opens up about MasterChef role

Nigella Lawson will appear on MasterChef Australia later this year as a guest judge during Nigella Week.
Reuters

Nigella Lawson will appear on MasterChef Australia later this year as a guest judge during Nigella Week.

Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson admits judging contestants in the upcoming MasterChef Australia is "pretty stressful".

The difficulty of critiquing is not lost on the television personality and food writer, who refers to herself as a home cook rather than a chef.

"It's pretty stressful because you get very involved with the contestants and they're trying so hard," she said on Monday.

"It's both hard as a judge, because you want to be absolutely true to your palate. I never enjoy having to say something that's less than favourable, but at times you have to."

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But she stresses the show is based on wanting contestants to cook well rather than look for where they have gone wrong.

"I'm one of life's encouragers, I don't like having to say anything which could be discouraging so I try to do it in a way that will encourage, but that's hard," she says.

"The difficulty really is sometimes knowing what they're setting out to do. Somehow if they don't manage it, it feels all my maternal side comes out."

Nigella has sold over five million copies of her cookbooks in the UK alone and is in Melbourne to promote her latest one, Simply Nigella.

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She will appear on MasterChef Australia later this year as a guest judge during Nigella Week, alongside Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris.

Lawson says the contestants manage an "extraordinary" education in food in such a short time and the advice dished out by the judges is about the food and never personal.

After all, she says one should be mindful cooking is about bringing pleasure.

"If someone cooks for you under those conditions, you've got to remember that positive thing that someone has actually taken the trouble to cook for you and that in itself is such a positive and joyful thing," she said.

"You need to remember that, even if you're having to say about certain things not working."

 - AAP

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