The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Nigella Lawson

b. January 6, 1960

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Nigella Lawson until we are able to commission a full entry.

Nigella Lawson in 2012, photo courtesy of Brian Minkoff via Wikimedia Commons.

Nigella Lawson’s numerous cookbooks and cooking shows have earned her the (often fraught) title of domestic goddess. Lawson graduated from Oxford University with a degree in medieval and modern languages before joining the staff of The Spectator as a book and restaurant reviewer in 1983. In 1986 she became deputy literary editor of The Sunday Times. After a stint as a freelance journalist, she published her first cookbook, How to Eat, in 1998, followed by How to Be a Domestic Goddess in 2000, which won her the British Book Awards’ Author of the Year Award in 2001. In 1999 she launched her first UK cooking show, Nigella Bites, followed by her US show Nigella Feasts in 2006. Critics were divided between praising her recipes and passing judgement on her appearance, leading to discussion in the media about whether Lawson was entitled to be simultaneously a loving mother, a savvy businesswoman, a talented chef, and a sex symbol. Unflustered by the scrutiny, Lawson has continued evolving as a chef, and as of 2017 she has published eleven cookbooks and hosted twelve cooking shows.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Nigella Lawson." (Viewed on June 7, 2023) <>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox

Read the latest from JWA from your inbox.

sign up now