Nigella Lawson: ‘I Can Never Say How My Life Is Because I’m Too Busy Living It’

02/27/2016 at 03:17 PM ET

Nigella Lawson
Rodrigo Varela/Getty

The last few years have not been easy for Nigella Lawson: She went through a messy public divorce, braved drug-use allegations against her, testified in the fraud trial of her former assistants, and had to start over financially on her own. But the celebrity chef is coming out on top with a new cookbook and a positive outlook on life.

“The thing that’s quite interesting about doing a new book is that there’s always a new beginning as it relates to the past,” Lawson tells PEOPLE at a dinner Friday night for her cookbook Simply Nigella, held at the Soho Beach House during the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami.

RELATED: Why Nigella Lawson Will Never Use the Term ‘Clean Eating’

“For me, one of the joys of cooking is that mixing—the comfort of the familiar and the exuberance of the new. So, things are never completely new but there’s always new enthusiasm and new direction,” says Lawson, 56.

As for new directions, Lawson, who looked striking in a sleek black pant suit, said, “My life is great…the thing is, I can never say how my life is because I’m too busy living it.”

RELATED: Nigella Lawson Keeps Salt, Mustard and Hot Sauce by Her Bedside: ‘It’s Not Meant to Be Funny, It’s Very Helpful’

During the dinner, which was sponsored by Santa Margherita wines, Lawson told the crowd of her new book: “The ‘simply’ really is about food that is not complicated. None of my food is ever complicated, but I do feel always the need to say that cooking is really just about flavor and you can get enormous complexity of flavor while having a very easy process.”

The self-described “home cook” also gave some insight as to what she actually cooks at home — and, not surprisingly, her approach is all about comfort and ease. “I’m like most people, there’s an awful lot of chicken and I always like vegetables,” she says. “I do find I make lots of roast vegetables with many sauces.” In fact, the author admits, “I’m a bit of a condiment queen. I love making a cheese sauce, I like a bit of tahini sauce, I love all that.”

RELATED: Giada De Laurentiis and Boyfriend Shane Farley Share Laughs and Burgers at South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Her book was recently credited for a rise in UK buckwheat sales after Lawson featured a cookie recipe using the grain. As to the connection, Lawson says, “It’s very nice if you can make people interested in a certain food.” But, the chef certainly doesn’t see that as her ultimate goal. “What I love is people cooking a recipe and it’s making them have a lovely dinner at home and they are thrilled with it.”

Lawson does admit to loving her social media interactions with fans, saying, “When people say on Twitter, ‘I’m cooking this’ and they send me a picture, or if I do a hashtag ‘Simply Nigella’ and I see all the recipes they’re cooking from the book, it’s so nice.”

RELATED: How Nigella Lawson Looks So Good — Even Though She is Surrounded by Delicious Food

“That is why it’s so personal because you’re cooking something that is a part of my life, and then it goes and becomes a part of someone else’s life and that’s a very intimate connection.”

—Becky Randel

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms


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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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Showing 3 comments

Liv on

That’s not a bad problem to have good for her for leading a busy life!

Q4U on

If she’s so busy living her life, how does she have time to write a book?

L on

Honestly I know some Mums in E.U. who are cooking better than Nigella…. Nothing creative, new from her !