Rick Stein

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Rick Stein
Rick Stein.JPG
Born (1947-01-04) 4 January 1947 (age 68)
Churchill, Oxfordshire, England
Education Uppingham School
New College, Oxford
Culinary career

Christopher Richard (Rick) Stein OBE (born 4 January 1947) is an English chef, restaurateur and television presenter. He is currently the head chef and co-owner of "Rick Stein at Bannisters" at Mollymook, New South Wales, Australia,[1] owns four restaurants in Padstow, a fish and chip shop in Falmouth, Cornwall, and has written or presented a number of cookery books and television programmes.

Early years[edit]

Of German descent, Stein was born on 4 January 1947 in Churchill, Oxfordshire, to Eric and Dorothy Stein.[2]

Stein first attended Wells Court, a preparatory school just outside Tewkesbury.[3] From 10 to 13, he went to Wells House, the Court's bigger sister-school at Malvern Wells. After that, he passed the Common Entrance Examination to Uppingham School. At 16, he started to question the whole values of the public school. He took A-levels in English, history and geography, but he and his chums actively enjoyed not doing the work and he failed all of the qualifications. Then he went off to a cram school in Brighton and got an E in English and history.

After leaving education, Stein partially completed a hotel management traineeship with British Transport Hotels at its Great Western Royal Hotel in Paddington.[4] He worked there as a chef for six months when his father committed suicide. Broken up by it, at 19 he went to Australia, where he did all kinds of labouring jobs like an abattoir or a clerk in a naval dockyard. He also went travelling to New Zealand and Mexico around that time to "take some time out", as he stated.[5]

Being on his own, he read a great deal and felt he had not given academe a chance. He applied to New College, Oxford and got in, where he earned an English degree in 1971. Soon after, Stein moved to Padstow. [6]


Rick Stein's Seafood Restaurant, Padstow

After graduating from Oxford, Rick Stein went home to Padstow. Finding himself at a loose end, he converted a mobile disco, which he had run as a student, into a quayside nightclub with his friend, Johnny. It was known for its freeze-dried curries. However, the nightclub lost its licence and was closed down by the police, mainly due to frequent brawls with local fishermen. However, they still had a licence for a restaurant that they’d opened in another part of the building, so they carried on with that to pay the bills because they were facing bankruptcy.[6][7] Stein ran the kitchen thanks to the experience he gained as a commis chef. He eventually converted it into a small harbour-side bistro, The Seafood Restaurant with his then-wife, Jill, in 1975.[8] His business now operates four restaurants, a bistro, a cafe, a seafood delicatessen, patisserie shop, a gift shop and a cookery school.[9] His impact on the local economy of Padstow is such that it has been nicknamed "Padstein".[10]

In 2007 threats against Rick Stein's businesses were made by Cornish nationalists.[11]

In 2009 Stein made his first acquisition in the nearby village of St Merryn, 3.5 miles from Padstow, taking over the Cornish Arms public house on the village's outskirts, intending to keep it a traditional Cornish pub.[12]

In October 2009, Stein opened with his fianceé publicist Sarah Burns, "Rick Stein at Bannisters" in 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. Bannisters was the relaxed seaside hotel that I was looking for, so when they asked me if I’d be interested in cooking there I jumped at the opportunity.”[13]

In November 2014, Stein and his partner Jill took over the lease of the former "Clay Quay" restaurant on the harbourside of picturesque Porthleven, renaming it "Rick Stein". His website quotes “We aren’t planning to make too many changes; we’ll be adding a few new dishes on the menu and the odd new painting – other than that we love the current concept. It’s a great restaurant in a beautiful fishing town”[14]

As well as running his business, Stein has become a popular television presenter on food. Gaining early exposure after appearing on Keith Floyd's 1984 series Floyd On Fish as a guest chef, he was noticed by the show's producer and was later offered the chance to present his own series – similar in vein to the "travelogue" style of cookery show pioneered by Floyd – on BBC television including Rick Stein's Taste of the Sea, Fruits of the Sea, Seafood Odyssey, Fresh Food, Seafood Lovers' Guide, Food Heroes, French Odyssey, Mediterranean Escapes, Far Eastern Odyssey, Rick Stein's Spain and Rick Stein's India. In the last five series, he set out in search of the best in the region's foods.[15] Stein was often accompanied by his Jack Russell terrier, Chalky, who died in January 2007.[16]

A book has accompanied each series, and his book English Seafood Cookery won the Glenfiddich Award for Food Book of the Year in 1989. Stein was awarded the OBE in the 2003 New Year Honours list for services to tourism in Cornwall.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Rick Stein in a 2006 cookery demonstration, in Melbourne, Australia

Stein lives in Padstow, Cornwall, for part of the year but also has a house in Sydney with his second wife, Sarah Stein (née Burns) and her two children. He met her on a book tour of Australia in 1997 when she was working for the publisher HarperCollins. They have been married since 7 October 2011.[18] He also has three sons from his first marriage to his business partner, Jill Stein (née Newstead): Edward, Jack, and Charles.[19] They married in Cornwall in 1975, separated on 21 July 2002,[20] and their divorce was granted on 8 June 2007.[21]

When Stein was eighteen his father committed suicide in Cornwall after suffering from bipolar disorder.[22] Stein's brother, Professor John Stein teaches and researches medicine, and in particular dyslexia and neurophysiology, at Oxford University, where he is a fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford. He also has a sister Henrietta and a half brother Jeremy who was from his mother's first marriage.

Stein and his former wife, Jill, jointly built up the food business which today is valued at £32 million and employs approximately 450 people in Padstow.[23]

Charity work[edit]

Rick Stein is Patron of the charities Padstow Youth Project, South West PESCA (Duchy Fish Quota Co.), the National Mission for Deep Sea Fishermen, the National Coastwatch Institution, the Dyslexia Research Trust and The National Trust.


  • English Seafood Cookery, 1988 (Glenfiddich Cook Book of the Year 1989)
  • A Beginner's Guide to Seafood, 1992 (Chapter 4 Marine Cuisine Guides)
  • Beach to Belly, 1994 (foreword)
  • Taste of the Sea, 1995 (André Simon Cook Book of the Year 1996)
  • Good Food Award Best Cookery Book, 1995/1996
  • Rick Stein Fish, 10 Recipes 1996
  • Fruits of the Sea, 1997 (ISBN 0-563-38457-3)
  • Rick Stein's Seafood Odyssey, 1999 (ISBN 978-0-563-38440-3)
  • Rick Stein's Seafood Lovers’ Guide, 2000 (ISBN 0-563-48871-9)
  • Rick Stein's Seafood, 2001
  • Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, 2001 – winner of category: Best Seafood and Fish in English; Best in the World Fish and Seafood (German translation – Gold medal – Gastronomische Akademie Deutschland 2003)
  • My Favourite Seafood Recipes, 2002 (Marks and Spencers cookery book)
  • Rick Stein's Food Heroes, 2002 (Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2002 – winner of category: Best Local Cookery Book – winner of category: Best Cookery Book of the Year in Great Britain)(Jacob’s Creek World Food Media Awards 2003 – Silver for best hard cover recipe book)
  • Rick Stein's Guide to the Food Heroes of Britain,(ISBN 0-563-52175-9) 2003 (Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2003 – winner of category: Best Guide)
  • Rick Stein's Food Heroes, Another Helping, 2004
  • Rick Stein's Complete Seafood (ISBN 1-58008-568-7) winner of the James Beard Foundation Award 2005 for Cook Book of the Year
  • Rick Stein's Mediterranean Escapes (ISBN 0-563-49366-6), 2007
  • Rick Stein Coast to Coast (ISBN 9781846076145), 2008
  • Rick Stein's "Far Eastern Odyssey" 2009
  • My Kitchen Table: Rick Stein's 100 Fish and Seafood Recipes (ISBN 9781849901581), 2011
  • Rick Stein's Spain (ISBN 9781849901352), 2011
  • Rick Stein's India (ISBN 978-1849905787), 2013
  • Under a Mackerel Sky: A Memoir 2013


  • Floyd on Fish, BBC TV, 1985 (Stein's first television appearance – Floyd called him Nick several times)
  • Floyd on Food, BBC TV, 1986
  • Taste of the Sea, BBC TV, 1995 (Glenfiddich TV Programme of the Year Award, Good Food Award Television Cookery Programme of the Year)
  • Fruits of the Sea, BBC TV, 1997 (Silver Medal World Food Media Awards Adelaide 1997)
  • Great Railway Journeys, BBC TV 1999 (Los Mochis to Veracruz)
  • Rick Stein's Seafood Odyssey, BBC TV, 1999 (Bronze Medal World Food Media Awards Adelaide 1999)
  • Fresh Food, BBC TV, 1999
  • Personal Passions, BBC TV 1999
  • Food & Drink', BBC TV, 1999 (Gold Award for Best Television Food Segment Within a Show – World Food Media Awards Adelaide 1999)
  • Rick Stein's Seafood Lover's Guide, BBC TV, 2000 (Glenfiddich TV Programme of the Year Award 2001)
  • Jacob's Creek World Food Media Awards – Silver for best Television Food Show
  • Friends for Dinner, BBC TV, 2000
  • Rick Stein on Fishing, ITV, 2001
  • Rick Stein's Food Heroes, BBC TV, 2002 (Jacob’s Creek World Food Media Awards 2003 – Gold for Best Television Food Show)
  • Rick Stein's Food Heroes, Another Helping, BBC TV October 2003, Series 2 BBC TV February 2004
  • Rick Stein's Fish Love, UKTV Fish August 2004
  • Rick Stein's French Odyssey, May 2005
  • Betjeman and Me: Rick Stein's Story, August 2006
  • Rick Stein and the Japanese Ambassador, BBC Two, 2006
  • Rick Stein in Du Maurier Country, BBC Two, May 2007
  • Fishy Treats and Simple Eats, Japanese Food Network, Autumn 2007
  • Rick Stein's Mediterranean Escape, BBC Two, 8 August 2007 (6-part series to accompany his book)
  • On 16 February 2009 Stein was featured in an episode of the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are? genealogy documentary series.
  • Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey, BBC Two, July 2009
  • Rick Stein's Christmas Odyssey, BBC Two, December 2009
  • Rick Stein's Food of the Italian Opera, BBC HD, June 2010
  • Rick Stein's Cornish Christmas, BBC Two, December 2010
  • Rick Stein's Spain, BBC Two, July 2011
  • Rick Stein's India, BBC Two, June 2013
  • Rick Stein's German Bite, BBC Two, August 2013


  • Rick Stein's Spain (1996)
  • Rick Stein's French Odyssey (2005)
  • Rick Stein's Mediterranean Escapes (2009)

Other awards[edit]

For the restaurant:

  • RAC/Sunday Times Taste of Britain Best Restaurant Award 1984
  • Decanter Magazine Restaurant of the Year 1989
  • The Good Hotel Guide Cesar Award 1995
  • Egon Ronay Guide Restaurant of the Year 1996
  • Hotel & Restaurant Magazine Seafood Restaurant of the Year 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 & 2003
  • AA Award – English Seafood Restaurant of the Year Award 2002

For the man:


External links[edit]