American audiences are about to get a healthy helping of amorous British chef and best-selling author Nigella Lawson.
Lawson represents the flipside to the most widely known British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay -- in contrast to the volcanic, tough-talking exterior of Ramsay, Lawson presents a more sultry, sly demeanor. On ABC's "The Taste," set to debut in first quarter of 2013, the curvaceous chef will join fellow cooking mentors Anthony Bourdain, Brian Malarkey, and Ludo Lefebvre.
"I was hesitant, (and) slightly worried about whether I could do it or not," Lawson admits. "But in the end, my interest in the show outweighed my fear of doing it."
"The Taste" will present a kind of cooking talent show, a bit of a change up for Lawson's usual BBC work like "Nigellissima," a romantically filmed tribute to signature Italian dishes.
The author and chef is somewhat familiar to US audiences, having made appearances on Bravo's "Top Chef" and taking a stab at hosting cooking shows in the past, including "Nigella Feasts" and "Nigella Express" for the Food Network. However, the ABC reality show will be her biggest stateside endeavor to date. "You can never tell who is going to work on TV until you put someone on TV," she says. "Age and looks don't make a huge difference. As long as people are who they are, it works."
Lawson hopes that the series will open doors to more opportunities to ingratiate herself to American audiences. "I'd love to be a judge on the 'Great American Bake Off,'" she says. "If the Americans love 'Downton Abbey,' won't they just love 'The Great British Bake Off?'"