Anna Del Conte on why she loves Nigella Lawson

Anna Del Conte is one of the greatest living experts on Italian food. Born in Milan, she arrived in London in 1949 where she quickly became the first cookery writer in England to specialize in Italian food. Nigella Lawson has cited Del Conte as her favorite Italian food writer. In a recent interview with The Guardian, Del Conte returns the compliment, explaining why she loves Nigella.

cookbook collage

Recognizing that food writers often take bits and pieces from each other when developing recipes, Del Conte notes that Nigella’s edits always seem to improve the dishes. “Nigella has taken a lot of my recipes, always giving me full credit, and somehow always makes them better,” she says. “Her changes are slight, yet they are distinct improvements. I don’t quite know how she does it. She’s very clever.”

Although the 93-year-old Del Conte doesn’t do a lot of cooking these days, she still enjoys browsing through cookery books. “I still like to read cookbooks (but not in my bed, thank you very much),” she says. “I read them in the kitchen. I appreciate them.” 

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