The essence of the new series Nigellissima is to show how easy it is to bring the spirit of Italy into the kitchen and onto the plate - using ingredients available in any English supermarket.

As the series producer it's my job to pull all six programmes together and deliver them on time and in budget.

This is only possible if you have a great team like I have with Nigella's camera crew and director, who have worked with her for many years.

One of the early decisions to be made is always where to film.

In a perfect world we would film Nigella Lawson in her own kitchen where she feels most at home cooking.

But this would be impossible to do safely considering all the camera and lighting kit that is involved. And that's before adding all the crew into the mix.

I'm not sure Nigella's family would be too keen to have 14 of us hanging around for 12 hours a day for a six week stretch.

The next best option was to recreate Nigella's kitchen in a studio.

Nigella would still feel confident cooking in a familiar kitchen layout and the camera and sound crew would have the control, space and flexibility they needed.

Once we'd found a suitable studio we had eight days to build a fully functioning kitchen and patio garden from scratch.

Day one was spent putting fake walls or 'flats' up to create our room within a room.

Our kitchen only has three walls - the cameras and monitors all sit where a normal fourth wall would.

Just as in Nigella's own home we all wanted our set kitchen to have a large bookcase.

We needed this to be as light as possible so that we could physically move it safely when we needed to reposition the camera or lights.

Our design assistant Vicky came up with a fantastic idea and if you look closely at the pic above you'll see on the floor spines of books made of cardboard.

See below how they were mixed in with the other real books, most of which are Nigella's own. She's quite a reader.

Our small patio garden was based on something similar that Nigella has in her London home.

Luckily the studio had a large brick wall (see below) so that made for a great natural backdrop.

We then hired lots of large bushes and plants. With no natural light they had to be kept alive with a special lamp which we put on each night after we had wrapped shooting.

The plants needed even more watering than usual too because of the hot studio lighting.

We laid a real concrete patio and even brought in live moss to fill the cracks.

After bringing in many of Nigella's own pots, pans and props the last stage was a lick of paint on the floor and we were ready to go.

One of the common questions is what happens afterwards?

Well, the set goes into a special BBC storage area for the next time. The books and props all went back to Nigella's home.

The plants are returned to thrive in the natural light and hopefully get a little more TLC than they got from our very un-green fingered crew.

Jennifer Fazey is the series producer of Nigellissima.

Nigellissima continues on Monday, 1 October at 8.30pm on BBC Two. For further programme times, please see the episode guide.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.

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  • Comment number 25. Posted by carosmum

    on 7 Nov 2012 10:40

    Enjoyed the Q & A session with Nigella last night at RMS organised by Chorleywood Book Store. What a delight!
    Would like to know what she has adapted to use as a licorice box.

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  • Comment number 24. Posted by Old_dogsbody

    on 5 Nov 2012 21:17

    Many thanks BelB @16

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  • Comment number 23. Posted by Finger_licking_good

    on 1 Nov 2012 14:38

    Love the set can't believe it's not Nigella's actual kitchen.
    Trying out the lamb chops tonight so wish me luck.

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  • Comment number 22. Posted by Eliza Kessler

    on 31 Oct 2012 12:03

    Hi johnward213 and Gero34

    Thanks for your comments on the tracklistings - you can now find full details of the music featured in episode six of Nigellissima on the programme page.

    Hope that helps.

    Eliza
    Researcher
    BBC TV blog

  • Comment number 21. Posted by seabean

    on 30 Oct 2012 19:52

    @johnward213
    You asked about background music/songs. SoundHound results:
    Opening Titles, Episode 6 = It's Your Thing, by George Semper and the Rhythm Kings
    First Recipe, Part 1, Episode 6 = Revival, by Martine Girault
    First Recipe, Part 2, Episode 6 = Soul Junction, by The Backyard Heavies
    Serving Up & Transition ???(SoundHound was unable to identify the riff.)
    Second Recipe, Part 1, Episode 6 = Blues for Pres, Sweets, Ben and All the Other Funky Ones, by Sonny Sitt, Oscar Peterson Trio
    Second Recipe, Part 2, Episode 6 = Nessuno, by Quartetto Radar
    Second Recipe, Part 3, Episode 6 = ???(SoundHound was unable to identify the riff.)
    Second Recipe, Part 4, Episode 6 = Under the Sea, by Digby Jones
    Second Recipe, Part 5, Episode 6 = ???(SoundHound was unable to identify the song.)
    Transition = ???(SoundHound was unable to identify the song.)
    Third Recipe, Part 1, Episode 6 = ???(SoundHound was unable to identify the riff.)
    Third Recipe, Part 2, Episode 6 = Che M'Importa del Mondo, by Rita Pavone
    End Credits = Tu Vuo' Fa l'Americano, by Renato Carosone
    Hope that helps!
    P.S. Just guessing but I suspect the music SoundHound was unable to identify probably came from BBC's own archives/improv session???

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  • Comment number 20. Posted by seabean

    on 30 Oct 2012 19:11

    Hi Jennifer, really enjoyed reading your behind the scenes post about the Nigelissima set. Nice to know most of the books on show were fakes -- I was suffering from book-envy ;-) As a vegetarian I often have to look away when watching Nigella cook BUT I still watch the show because I enjoy her attitude to food and largely share it plus I find many of her meat/fish recipes can be adapted for use with quorn or soya or seitan (all the same I often wish that Nigella has a revelation and becomes a vegetarian especially when she is brutal to poor chickens or cooks LIVE shellfish!!!) To be honest, I watch not just for the cookery but for other reasons: I've watched earlier series and in them Nigella was often very self-critical (e.g. Nigella Bites where she is always wincing at herself) and in later series (like this one) she seems much more self-assured and serene and that is just very, very pleasing to see. Without getting too 'Californian', I think you'd have to be warped yourself not to witness that sort of 'personal growth' in someone and not feel good inside. Also, when you cook you offer yourself to the people you are cooking for and that is nerve-racking enough when you are cooking for friends but to cook on t.v. for invisible strangers is to put yourself under a relentless spotlight and that takes amazing courage, I mean that, real courage and I admire it. If other readers don't understand what I mean, try to vividly imagine yourself in her shoes... yup, it is scary, isn't it? Finally, I think Nigella is beautiful (curves in all the right places) and I mean that respectfully, and not as a pervert slobbering over 'food porn' (whatever that means). True, Nigella flirts a lot - that is just her style and it is done tongue-in-cheek and in a self-deprecating way that is warm-hearted and charming. Believe me if it was the least bit sleazy or sordid, I'd reach simultaneously for the sickbag and the remote and I don't think it is either. Thus, although I differ from Nigella in fundamental ways (e.g. in the 'spirituality of food' which for me means in order to be ethical and 'holy' food must be compassionate and thus not involve the killing of animals or exploitation of people so it must be vegetarian and 'fair traded' etc) I still like and admire her on many levels. I hope she keeps making cookery programmes and I will keep watching them.
    @johnward213 Try using an app like SoundHound or Shazam to name the tune you are interested in... I'll have a try doing this myself and if I get any results I'll post them here.

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  • Comment number 19. Posted by johnward213

    on 30 Oct 2012 11:31

    Really enjoying the Italian music in the back ground of the show. Can anyone tell me where I can find it?

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  • Comment number 18. Posted by sapday

    on 29 Oct 2012 20:06

    just made the pasta rissotto with my daughters and we all loved it, cooked the meatball pasta too and just as good. Thank you Nigella we are not uber rich but enjoy well cooked food and these recipes are reasonable.

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  • Comment number 17. Posted by Simon

    on 28 Oct 2012 05:59

    Seriously BelB? That would be why mine came out like a brick last night then!

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  • Comment number 16. Posted by BelB

    on 26 Oct 2012 15:21

    In reply to Old Dogsbody, I think Lakeland Ltd sells the same savarin mould (22cm) that was used on the show. Also be aware, if you make it, that the cake also needs 2 pots of plain flour (in addition to the cornflour) which was somehow edited out on the TV show!

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