This year we chose to head to Padstow, Cornwall, for our summer holiday and whilst there I spent an evening with Rick Stein.
Padstow is often referred to a PadStein given that the chef Rick Stein has made Padstow famous. Rick has several restaurants in Padstow along with a cookery school.
I joked with my wife that I would tweet Rick Stein and see about meeting up for a beer. She laughed.
I then checked out his website and noticed that he would be in Padstow that week doing “An Evening With Rick Stein” event. Fate.
So I took the plunge and spent a reasonable sum of money of buying a ticket.
Rick Stein is one of my food heroes. I love cooking and I love food but I don’t watch many cookery programs. I find them boring when it’s just the chef cooking a dish in their trendy kitchen, or their garden, or whatever. But I do love watching shows when the chef heads out in to the world and explores different cultures and cuisines. Rick Stein’s later shows are about travel and culture, and that appeals to me. He marries travel, culture, other people’s lives and food together.
Rick himself has a laid back approach to cooking where the eating and socialising is as important as the food. He makes mistakes and is a little clumsy – he’s human, and his dishes are not too ponsy for my roots. I like this natural approach.
So when I got the chance to have an evening with Rick Stein and meet my food hero I jumped at it.
And he did not disappoint.
I rocked up early and got a seat right at the front.
Rick and his personal assistant pitched up and some of his chefs were mingling around helping to prepare some of the food.
Rick spent the evening talking and cooking three dishes from his new book – Fish and Shellfish. He told some wonderful stories and got on his soap box a few times. All good stuff. He’s a good presenter and has a natural way of engaging with an audience.
Members of Rick’s team were serving some amazing wine and his chefs were in the back cooking individual portions of the food for each guest to eat.
It was a fabulous evening and something I’m pleased to have done. It was an expensive few hours but it’s a memory I’ll hold on to for a long time.
The great news is that he’s going to be opening a new restaurant in Winchester, Hampshire in late October 2014. My home city – great.
The evening was of course a chance to promote his new book – Fish and Shellfish – which I have bought. I’ve already cooked the hake dish he prepared on the night. Simple, but amazing – my family enjoyed that dish.
The book is great. It’s got lots of information about buying and preparing fish, as well as loads of great recipes.
On the evening he cooked Sliced Salmon with ponzu and pink grapefruit (page 199), then hot and sour squid salad (page 249) and finally grilled hake with mash (page 142).
You can buy the book on Amazon…for a lot less than I paid on the night
I’m not a fan of white wine normally and out of the three I only really tasted a decent amount of the first one which was The Crossings Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 from NewZealand. It was beautiful. Really crisp and refreshing.
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