Up close with Nigella Lawson for Contadina

The good thing with this craft called blogging is the chance to see world-famous celebrities up close. In 2013, I had the great fortune of shaking the hands of my peg in Sex & the City, Sarah Jessica Parker, for the opening of SM Aura.

Now that it’s 2016, we got the chance to be in the same room with celebrity food author Nigella Lawson, in an exclusive lunch as they would call it. That’s because she’s the endorser of Contadina, the Italian-inspired food line being brought to the Philippines for the first time by Del Monte. Nigella was a very lovely woman and to say the foodies of Manila were thrilled is an understatement.

Nigella Lawson

I was all smiles and admiration for Nigella. She’s as beautiful in person as she is on TV or in photos. You can say that the secret of her beauty is her zest and passion for life, someone who does not hesitate to say: “am a great reader and a great eater.” She claims to be obsessive in collecting food books as she has thousands of them. She also believes that “cooking and eating are analogous.”

Most of us weren’t so lucky having our photos taken with the Domestic Goddess. It all happened so fast. It was more of a cook off where she visited our work tables to see how we were doing. And I happened to belong to the team of Chefs JP Anglo and Kalel Chan who was adjudged the best that day…yay!

This was the closest I got to Nigella…

Nigella in Manila

That’s me on the left in paparazzi mode with my cellphone šŸ™‚

Nigella in Manila

Couldn’t help but agree with what Nigella said about how people should feel at home in the kitchen. She said she loves cooking because “it is very absorbing without being very challenging.”

“Cooking is about how you can enjoy yourself in the kitchen, it’s all about knowing the rules and knowing when to break them.”

It’s said that the dishes served us during the Contadina launch were chosen by Nigella herself. Salad Nicoise, Penne A La Vodka, Chicken with Greek Herb Sauce, and Olive Oil Cake…we imagine these are the specialties she would prepare herself in real life. Classic food that are delectable and yet easy or uncomplicated to prepare.

Nigella in Manila

Contadina X Nigella was one of the best, much-awaited lunches I had this year…

Nigella in Manila luncheon

Nigella in Manila

Contadina in the Philippines will have a full product line that will not only consist of tomato-based canned products but also pasta sauces, pastas and olive oils.

Nigella in Manila

The good news is that Contadina will be available in the local market starting October 7. It’s a boon for busy moms like me since we can just reach for their ready made sauces in the pantry.

An example is this tuna pasta I made with Contadina penne and their Aglio Arrostito sauce made from Italian tomatoes and roasted garlic. Loved the al dente quality of the noodles and the real Italian taste.

Cooking with Contadina

Cheers to Nigella and viva Contadina!

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