This Person Inspired Nigella Lawson's First Cookbook

Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson is a culinary sensation, a woman who has plenty of fans who look up to her for inspiration. A journalist-turned-chef and author, Lawson is someone who's had a life full of varied experiences. As per the The New York Times, Lawson is extremely self-aware and is able to take things into perspective. 

For Lawson, one of the major and most rewarding achievements of her career is her first cookbook, How to Eat. Lawson made an impression by going down an unconventional route and choosing to be non-technical in her book, adopting a more conversational approach. She also didn't shy away from talking about food products that weren't popular back then such as avocado and quinoa. 

Lawson's friend and food writer, Ben Wilson, said that the book was revolutionary because it fully and unapologetically embraced home cooking, something that wasn't done often in those days. As it turns out, Lawson was pretty inspired when she decided to write the book and there's a moving story behind it.

Lawson credits her late husband for inspiring her

Lawson spoke at length about what inspired her to write How to Eat in a thought-provoking interview with The Guardian in October 2020. She remembered her first husband, journalist John Diamond. The couple were madly in love and met at work. She remembered Diamond and said, "He had this sense of ease in himself, and that made the air around him comfortable."

The couple had a happy life together, hosting delicious meals for their friends and loved ones. Unfortunately, things took a tragic turn when Diamond received a throat cancer diagnosis when he was 43 years old. Even when Diamond was struggling and couldn't speak, he supported Lawson, and she did the same without a second thought. He urged his wife to write How to Eat. "Writing about food when you're married to someone who can't eat — that was odd. But I suppose it was about clutching on to life, really," Lawson reflected, implying that the book was a symbol of hope and resilience. Lawson lost Diamond in 2001.