WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- With the forthcoming visit to London of President Bush, domestic goddess Nigella Lawson has been promoted to the ranks of a modern Escoffier. British Prime Minister Tony Blair has turned to her to provide the menu for the lunch on Thursday between the two leaderes and their wives.
She's probably not the best English chef around. But with her television programs promoting comfort food cooking, her columns in the British and the American press, her exceptional beauty and proudly zaftig figure, she is one of the most successful and beguiling exemplars of Blair's Cool Britannia.
Her most recent marketing move has been a line of china cookware that has just become available in the United States. Each piece is imprinted with a trademark 'N' borrowed from Napoleon and crowned with the outline of a cherry-topped cupcake.
In September she married advertising mogul Charles Saatchi, owner of the Saatchi Gallery that has thrust the wild and now formally titled Young British Artists like Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin into the limelight of controversy. In 1978, as the advertising agency hired by Margaret Thatcher's Tory party, Saatchi & Saatchi was responsible for the legendary poster of a long line of unemployed with the anti-Labour party slogan "Labour Isn't Working." For the private wedding at their $8.2 million house in North London, for which she wore a long black dress, Nigella cooked the food herself, apparently taking leftovers in a cooler bag to the Saatchi eight-seater honeymoon jet.
As a daughter of Margaret Thatcher's Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson, now Lord Lawson, Nigella grew up in number 11 Downing Street, the less cramped house next door to the Prime Minister's traditional home at number 10 that now accommodates Tony Blair and his large family. Though it is not clear whether she will actually be cooking the lunch that takes place there on Thursday, her presence may well be required "below stairs" to oversee the execution of her menu.