Exclusive Interview: Nigel Barker speaks on ANTM, the romance of Nonni’s Biscotti and his new cosmetics line| May 8, 2012 at 2:43 PM EDT
Nigel Barker is not just a husband, father, international photographer and beloved judge on America’s Next Top Model. Now he is the new (and quite posh) face for Nonni’s Biscotti. This brand and their new biscotti bites gives us the gentle reminder that pausing to savor simple moments with our loved ones is important. Sometimes you don’t want to smell roses – you want to stop and smell some chocolate biscotti!
I spoke with Barker about why models happen to love the Nonni’s Biscotti Bites, why AzMarie Livingston was sent home on America’s Next Top Model: British Invasion, and why biscotti is such a romantic symbol in his personal life.
Small Screen Scoop: Biscotti seems like a traditionally English or British snack. What about it can really appeal to Americans?
Nigel Barker: Nonni’s Biscotti actually grew out of Italian tradition, in the little town of Lucca, Italy. Nonni (an endearing term for Grandma) made biscotti to share with family and friends. Everyone has very hectic lifestyles and biscotti provides a delicious opportunity to slow down once in a while … to take a simple moment and reflect on life’s simple pleasures. Nonni’s Biscotti Bites are small enough to enjoy on-the-go, or you can indulge in a longer moment with Nonni’s traditional-sized Biscotti.
What are a couple pairings of a Nonni biscotti and beverage that you’d recommend?
Well, I’d always recommend the classic pairing of biscotti and coffee or cappuccino. Nonni’s Biscotti offers so many delectable flavors that allow consumers unique pairings. My kids love caramel chocolate biscotti bites with milk, my wife loves the dark chocolate and almond biscotti bites with red wine.
As your kids grow up, will you make sure they know why biscotti is such a romantic food item in their parents history?
Of course! I met my wife in Italy and remember our first date enjoying a cappuccino and biscotti after a romantic dinner in Milano – now I always carry a biscotti in my camera bag, for luck.
Since you always carry some biscotti on you, have you ever converted any other models or friends into becoming biscotti aficionados?
Definitely, I serve them all the time on set – and the models love them because they are lower in fat and in some cases lower in sugar than other cookies in the marketplace. Nonni’s now has these Biscotti Bites that are smaller portioned, perfect for on-the-go snacking or after a long day at work.
For the current America’s Next Top Model: British Invasion, do you think AzMarie should have stayed and been given time to improve her attitude? Do you think she could have won this cycle?
Girls are eliminated on ANTM by an overall majority vote, which means that I can be over ruled and a girl sent home that wished could have remained. I am not going to say that’s what happened in this instance, but I do believe AzMarie was a great model with lot’s of potential. However she was very short sighted and ANTM is a competition. Sometimes the first will be last and the last will be first…
As a longterm ANTM fan, I was devastated to learn about the loss of you and the Jay’s to the show as of next season. In your opinion, do you think the show will really be able to gain more viewers with this change?
America’s Next Top Model was created from a great simple idea, really about the American dream, in giving a girl an opportunity of a lifetime. It was a wonderful decade of my life and while I am sad it is over, I’ve made peace with the decision. Of course it will be difficult for the fans, but things like this happen in this business.
I heard you are interested in starting a skin care line or your own show. Can you talk a little bit more about that?
We are currently creating a cosmetics line called Beauty Equation with inspiration drawn from my book with the same name that is being spear headed by my wife and make up artist Crissy Barker, designed for women. I am also creating a men’s skincare range based on my own regimen and no nonsense lifestyle – stay tuned!!
And yes we have busy developing new shows for TV that we are now free to pitch – exciting times!
I had a chance to taste some of the Nonni’s Biscotti Bites provided by the brand, and they are the perfect small size to snack on with a midday latte. I love the cute bags they come in, and I prop them up against the coffee maker to entice friends to stay and linger while we discuss the latest episode of America’s Next Top Model. I think they should come in resealable bags. But I love that they really and truly taste good, are not crumbly, and not too hard.
I am still processing the fact that we’ll be losing Jay Manual, Mrs. J, and Nigel next year. But at least we can look forward to their respective future projects. Parker has always been nice on the show without losing his ability to dole out tough criticism when needed, so I respect his opinions and can’t wait to try out items from Beauty Equation cosmetics!