The Special Guest You Never Knew Was In Every Episode Of Nigella Lawson's Cook, Eat, Repeat

In late 2020, author and television personality Nigella Lawson published her 12th cookbook, titled "Cook, Eat, Repeat: Ingredients, Recipes, and Stories" (via National Post). Her latest collection of recipes was refined during lockdown, and was paired with a television series on BBC in which Lawson whipped up several of the dishes on camera. While Lawson shares many of her inspirations and thoughts in the cookbook and in the series, the show's Director of Photography, Robin Fox, revealed one particular secret to Canon when describing the process of filming the show, involving a special guest that managed to slyly make an appearance in every single episode. No, it wasn't Lawson's children, or even a particular person in her life; it was, as Lawson herself also revealed on Twitter, a crystal unicorn named Gary.

Lawson's cooking shows have always been filmed in a particular manner to give a certain feel, which Fox explained. A large part of the signature look and atmosphere of her cooking programs has to do with bokeh, the aesthetic that involves out-of-focus or somewhat blurred portions in an image or clip (via Photography Life). While there are many technical tricks used to get the type of lighting Lawson's shows are known for, a simple technique to obtain the sought-after bokeh is to place a glass object in front of the lens. It's something that Lawson noticed Fox doing when they first worked together, and she decided to provide him with a small gift.

Gary's role in the filming process

As Fox explained to Canon, early in their working relationship, Lawson noticed that he and his crew would occasionally place a glass object in front of the camera. One day, she decided to bring in a crystal unicorn to place in front of the camera in order to get the lighting effects they wanted. That small unicorn has been a part of the crew of the show for all three series that Fox has worked on with Lawson, and has appeared in every episode of her latest cooking show, "Cook, Eat, Repeat."

There are many different tricks that go into filming the show, involving particular cameras and lenses and a full crew. Fox went into the technical details, sharing some of the benefits of certain lenses or styles of shooting. However, the small addition of Gary has been invaluable to the crew, and while the crystal unicorn may not know his way around the kitchen as Lawson does, he takes up his position in front of the Canon CN-E135mm T2.2L F and plays his part in the process.

In the same interview, Fox revealed one other tool that's proven essential on the set of Lawson's programs, although it has nothing to do with the lighting. Since the crew does multiple takes in order to get one perfectly shot recipe, crew members apparently all carry forks in their back pockets for a bit of sneaky sampling of the food.