Christopher Richard "Rick" Stein, CBE (born 4 January 1947) is an English celebrity chef, restaurateur, writer and television presenter. Along with business partner (and first wife) Jill Stein, he has run the Stein hotel and restaurant business in the UK. The business has a number of renowned restaurants, shops and hotels in Padstow along with other restaurants in Marlborough, Winchester and Barnes. He is also the head chef and a co-owner of "Rick Stein at Bannisters" at Mollymook and Port Stephens in Australia, with his second wife, Sarah. He has written cookery books and presented television programmes.
Of German descent, Christopher Richard Stein was born on 4 January 1947 in Churchill, Oxfordshire, to Eric and Dorothy Stein. He was born and brought up on a farm.
Stein was educated at Wells Court, a preparatory school just outside Tewkesbury, then Wells House, the Court's bigger sister-school at Malvern Wells, and then Uppingham School. He took A-levels in English, History and Geography, but failed all of them. He moved to a cram school in Brighton, gaining E grades in English and History.
Stein partially completed a hotel management traineeship with British Transport Hotels at its Great Western Royal Hotel in Paddington. He worked there as a chef for six months. Distraught by his father's suicide, at age 19 he went to Australia, where he worked as a labourer in an abattoir and as a clerk in a naval dockyard. He travelled to New Zealand and Mexico around that time to "take some time out".
Being on his own, he read widely, reflected on his attitude to education, and applied successfully to New College, Oxford, where he earned an English degree in 1971. Shortly after that, he moved to Padstow.
After graduating, Stein converted a mobile disco in Padstow, which he had run as a student, into a quayside nightclub with his friend, Johnny. It became 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. The pair still had a licence for a restaurant in another part of the building, so they continued with that to avert bankruptcy. Stein ran the kitchen using the experience he had gained as a commis chef. Eventually he converted it into a small harbour-side bistro, "The Seafood Restaurant", with his first wife Jill in 1975. As of 2015, his business operates four restaurants, a bistro, a café, a seafood delicatessen, a pâtisserie shop, a gift shop and a cookery school. In 2007 threats against Stein's businesses were made by Cornish nationalists. His impact on the economy of Padstow is such that it has been nicknamed "Padstein".
In 2009, Stein made his first acquisition in the nearby village of St Merryn, 3½ miles from Padstow, taking over the Cornish Arms public house on the village's outskirts, intending to keep it as a traditional Cornish pub.
In October 2009, Stein and his future second wife (fiancée at the time), the publicist Sarah Burns, opened "Rick Stein at Bannisters" in Mollymook, Australia. Stein 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."
In 2018, Stein opened up a second "Rick Stein at Bannisters" in Salamander Bay in Port Stephens, with his second wife Sarah. Stein has become a popular television presenter on food programmes. After appearing once as guest chef in Keith Floyd's 1985 series Floyd on Fish and in his 1986 series Floyd on Food, he was offered the chance to present his own series – like the "travelogue" style of cookery show pioneered by Floyd – on BBC television, using Floyd's producer and director David Pritchard. This caused some rivalry, even feud, only resolved shortly before Floyd's death. His shows have included 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.
Until his 2007 death at the age of 17, Stein was often accompanied by his Jack Russell terrier, Chalky. So popular was Chalky that Sharp's Brewery named two speciality beers after him, and an early day motion was tabled in the British House of Commons lamenting his death. The early day motion however only gathered three other signatories.
Much of Stein's television work has been released on VHS tape or DVD, but the BBC have yet to release some of the early pioneering series. Since late 2018, however, much has been licensed to the Good Food cable TV channel, where it has been broadcast with some heavy editing (and therefore omitting up to 20% of the original broadcast footage) to allow for the inclusion of adverts.
A book has accompanied each series, and Stein's 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 for services to tourism in Cornwall and the CBE in the 2018 New Year Honours for services to the economy.
On 22 June 2020, it was confirmed that Stein's restaurant in Porthleven, Cornwall would close permanently due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The restaurant had been closed since March 2020. In July it was announced that chef Michael Caines would take over the restaurant.
In 1965, when Stein was 18, his father, a retired managing director of The Distillers Company, killed himself by jumping from a cliff, near the family's holiday home at Trevose Head, after suffering from bipolar disorder.
Stein met his first wife Jill Newstead in Padstow. They married in 1975 and set up their restaurant and hotel business. Stein has three sons with Jill: Edward, Jack, and Charles who are involved in the family business.
Stein met Sarah Burns, 20 years his junior, in Australia in 1997, when she was a publicity manager for Australia Gourmet Traveller magazine. He and Burns had a five-year affair before Jill found out and then divorced Stein in 2007, but agreed to continue to run the business together. Stein and Burns married on 7 October 2011.
Stein has a brother, John, and a sister, Henrietta. He also has a half-brother, Jeremy, his mother's son from her first marriage. He is also the uncle of DJ and music producer Judge Jules.
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.
For the restaurant:
For the man:
- Rick Steinen.wikipedia.org