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While celebrity cook Nigella Lawson judged the food dished up by participants of Masterchef Australia Season 10, a share of judgement awaited the 58-year-old herself after the episode aired Down Under on Sunday night.

No stranger to brickbats in her almost three-decade-old career from peers and audiences, this time, viewers seemed to be 'grossed out' by Lawson's 'awkward eating', reported the Daily Mail. Sunday's episode kicked off 'Nigella Week' wherein the cooking show host and bestselling author appears as a guest judge along with the reality show's main judges -- chefs Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris, and food critic Matt Preston. Fans took to Twitter this week to mock the way Lawson was seen tasting the food during the cook-off round.

One viewer commented, "Omg watching Nigella eat is really gross. It's embarrassing," another said, "Nigella eats like someone who's been starved 66 days and handed a 40cm diameter chocolate cake on a platter with only 12 seconds to finish it. It's arousing."

Lawson was seen biting more than she could chew, using both her hands as the self-admitted "messy eater" awkwardly covered her mouth as she tried to keep the food from falling, licking her fingers and finally the gravest dining offense of all -- talking with her mouth full.

If anyone's asking, we think there was nothing 'gross' about the way Lawson tasted the food in Sunday's episode. If anything, it was absolutely normal -- who hasn't struggled with getting the right-sized bite before? And covering one's mouth during a dining faux pas was considered good manners when we last checked. Licking one's fingers and talking with one's mouth full, maybe not so much, but we're going to attribute that to how much she enjoyed the food. Maybe not the trolls on social media, but the participating amateur chefs may have certainly been overjoyed to have their preparations make Lawson want to lick her fingers -- isn't that a compliment in some cultures?

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Besides, we think the trolls unfairly attacked Lawson. Why must she be burdened with unrealistic expectations of eating 'daintily' on screen while no one made any mention of the table manners of the three male judges flanking her? In fact, we celebrate, rather than dismiss the sharp comments and burning insults of male chefs—it’s a passionate outpouring, we say. But women licking their fingers in appreciation doesn’t seem to go well with the audience. Did we hear male privilege?

Image: Daily Mail

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