Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Five things I learned from the one-day Fish & Shellfish course at Rick Stein Cookery School in Padstow

BLOB 1.  If you ate Rick Stein food every day of the week, you’d need resuscitating inside SIX months. 

His food is delicious but his recipes are packed shamelessly with salt and butter. Chef tipped half the Camel Estuary into a crab pot……but the crab cakes were DELICIOUS! Chef rubbed the other half into the lemon sole – but the ragout of sautéed lemon sole with serrano ham, spring vegetables and pea shoots was TO DIE FOR! 

It made me desperate to return to the 1970s when salt and butter were our friends.

But for one day, what the heck and look what we produced.....and we can BARELY COOK!!!
Ragout of sautéed lemon sole with serrano ham, spring vegetables and pea shoots

Ceviche of monkfish with avocado - MADE BY ME


BLOB 2.    If you drank every glass of wine offered, you’d be bladdered by the end of your Pondicherry mackerel fish fry. 

They are a generous bunch those Cookery School chefs and work hard at making things fun and wuzzy by keeping your glass brimmed full with the finest chilled French Sauvignon blanc. It’s easier to say yes please than no thank you (rude!) but we had to put in extra time on our homework to remember exactly what we had done.  

BLOB 3.   The chefs are tasty too!

BLOB 4.   Rick Stein is a clever sod! PART I

His courses are craftily constructed as half cookertainment half cookucation so even if you are a complete novice you come away feeling rather chuffed with yourself for having produced an impressive assortment of dishes – see above for mine. And thoroughly entertained by a 7-hour show that is utterly compelling, even though there are no sex, drugs, or rock n’ roll in sight…though you can see Rock in all its glory through the walls of glass overlooking the stunning Estuary.


BLOB 5.  Rick Stein is a clever sod! PART II

Padstow is a massive Rick Stein emporium where it is perfectly possible to devote an entire day buying stuff that will swell his coffers.

Breakfast at Rick Stein’s St Petroc’s Hotel, coffee at the Rick Stein Café, a fish and chip lunch at Rick Stein Fish and Chips on the Quay where you can also buy a Rick Stein chefs jacket (£40) or apron (£22) in the store. Spend the afternoon at a Rick Stein book signing (on condition you buy his book) then clear your pockets out completely with a fabulous blowout at The Seafood Restaurant. Felt at times like a Stein Heist but I guess we were willing and happy hostages!

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