Rick Stein CBE is an English chef, restaurateur, author and television presenter. He has written over 20 cookery books, an autobiography and made over 30 programmes including 12 cookery series. He has also cooked for The Queen and Prince Philip, Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher and French President, Jacques Chirac. Rick is best known for a love of fresh seafood and made his name in the 90’s with his earliest books and television series based on his life as chef and owner of The Seafood Restaurant in the fishing port of Padstow on the North Coast of Cornwall which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2015. As he said at the time “nothing is more exhilarating than fresh fish simply cooked.” Since then he has expanded his horizons to cover numerous journeys over the world in search of great dishes, and also increased his business empire.
Rick saw great success in 2017, being awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours, winning Best Food Personality at the Observer Food Monthly Awards, Special Contribution Award at The Travel Media Awards and Outstanding Contribution to Travel at the National Geographic Traveller Awards. Rick Stein The Road to Mexico also aired in 2017 with an accompanying book, focussing on a culinary adventure he first took in 1968 from San Francisco to Oaxaca.
Rick Stein’s Long Weekends in 2016 visited five destinations including Bordeaux, Reykjavik, Berlin, Vienna and Bologna. A one off Rick Stein’s Taste of Shanghai episode looked at how much Shanghai’s culinary roots have changed over the past 20 years. 2015 saw the release of Rick’s new book and TV series, From Venice to Istanbul: A food journey through the Eastern Mediterranean. He opened a new restaurant on the iconic Fistral beach, one of the best surf beaches in Europe, as well as a restaurant in Sandbanks, Dorset. Rick released Fish and Shellfish, an updated and revised edition of his cookery classic Seafood, in 2014 and filmed From Venice to Istanbul. He opened up his first restaurant outside of Cornwall, Rick Stein in Winchester and another in the fishing village of Porthleven, Cornwall.
Other television programmes have included Rick Stein’s India: In search of the perfect curry, a gloriously colourful journey and Rick Stein’s Spain, which also featured a country where people are passionate about their food. Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey was a very successful programme on the cookery of South East Asia. Rick also made a memorable journey down the canals of South Western France - called French Odyssey, it’s the programme which many people say is their favourite, he thinks because it celebrates a sunny way of life which we would all like to live.
Rick and his wife Sarah are also the guiding lights of “Rick Stein at Bannisters” at Mollymook on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Rick said at the time of opening: “Ever since a memorable weekend eating Pambula oysters and flathead in Merimbula in the sixties, I’ve had the image of the clean blue sea and sweet seafood of the South Coast fixed in my head so when I was introduced to Mollymook about six years ago I knew that one day I would open up a restaurant celebrating local fish and shellfish but keeping it really simple.”
Rick’s impact on the local economy of Padstow in Cornwall is such that it has been nicknamed “Padstein” despite the phrase being openly disputed by Rick himself. There’s no dispute though that Rick’s dog Chalky, who appeared in many of his programmes but who sadly died in 2007, was in the words of a Padstow fisherman “more famous than Ricky Stein.”