It's hard to imagine domestic goddess Nigella Lawson as a nervous little girl cautiously helping her mother with the baking. Now with 10 TV shows and 12 cookbooks to her name, the saucy kitchen queen is full of confidence in front of the camera.
"Well, there are some advantages to getting older," laughs Nigella, 58, as she looks back on her younger years. "I can remember being quite stressed as a child, worried about doing something wrong because my mother was quite an impatient person – and indeed I have grown up to be just like her!"
When Woman's Day speaks to Nigella over the phone from London, it's 8am and she's sitting in her garden with a cup of tea, eager to talk about all things food and her love for Aotearoa.
"I do like the travelling and I like eating food around the world," she says.
"I've been to New Zealand a few times recently, and the food and wine there feeds your soul. But there is something about just pottering around in your own kitchen that makes a huge difference."
For this cook, nothing beats putting together a good meal at home and that's what has inspired her latest series on Food TV, Nigella: At My Table.
"When people see me on the programme, they can see that I'm a bit clumsy, that I haven't got any knife skills, and yet that doesn't stop me from making something that tastes nice," she says.
"It's important to realise that you don't have to be a trained chef to cook something that has wonderful flavour. This show is to remind people of that."
When it comes to her favourite tasty treat, nothing beats two squares of dark chocolate – a ritual snack she indulges in every night and something that has almost tempted her to relocate to our shores.
"I couldn't live that far away from my children, but I have spent some considerable chunks of the year in New Zealand and I am trying to do that a lot more because I love it so much," Nigella confesses.
"I would come for the chocolate alone, but the beautiful landscape doesn't hurt either!"
Nigella: At My Table airs Monday nights at 8.30pm on Food TV (SKY Channel 18)
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