By Felwa Alhudaithy, C’est Ma Vie
Food-obsessed chic heroines.
Audrey Hepburn released a new book, “Audrey At Home: Memories of My Mother’s Kitchen.” Well technically her son Luca Dotti did. The marvelous thing about the book is that it tells the story of his mother’s life through food and recipes — specifically, her recipes. The book, which the author calls “a kitchen table biography,” offers an intimate look at Hepburn’s life and passions. But at its heart, it is a traditional family cookbook with recipes passed down through generations, collected from friends and compiled as a fitting tribute to a loving mother by her son.
Every evening, she had a little chocolate. Needless to say I started my Audrey tradition and I’m currently eating a piece of chocolate every day to keep those sad thoughts away.
The model turned writer, is as Chandler Bing once said, “a hoot!” Sophie writes in a way that I aspire to write one day; effortless, charming, romantic and full of wits, the old fashioned kind, the kind that you find in an Agatha Christie short story. A devoted home cook, she wrote “Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights,” that was turned into a five episode TV show.
The English rose first caught my eyes after watching her show. I fell in love with her persona, her way of thinking, and her easy and delicious cooking. Her ill-fated show only lasted one season, however her books and now her online website house more recipes than ever. I recently tried her Summer Pasta and had my own spin on an Italian classic.
A while ago, I stumbled upon two British girls that embody the perfect way of life, Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley, the sisters behind London-based healthy food business Hemsley & Hemsley. They have their own blog now turned official website and they also contribute to Vogue UK. The sisters have a passion for wellness and delicious, nutrient-dense cooking. Their cookbook, “The Art of Eating Well,” has over 150 recipes free of grain, gluten and refined sugar, and they have also launched their apparatus, the Hemsley Spiralizer. This weekend I’ll have to try their Quinoa Tabbouleh.
I think I’ve saved the best for last; Nigella Lawson is my ultimate queen bee. She’s the quintessential woman. She cooks, she’s engaging, not in the least pretentious. She gave us the term, Domestic Goddess. It was her who wanted women not to be afraid of the kitchen, not to be afraid of being domestic, not to label ourselves or let ourselves be labeled un-feminist because we enjoyed such a simple, traditional thing as cooking.
There are so many women who owe their love of food and cooking to Nigella. She taught us not to feel ashamed of sneaking a spoonful of clotted cream from the fridge at three in the morning.
Her food is about love. It’s not really about expedience, or restraint and it’s certainly not about health. In our family, we love Nigella’s Holiday Hot Cake. The smell alone will make you crave a big knitted sweater and opening the fireplace and digging into a bowl of cake with extra crème fraiche.