2 minutes with Rick Stein – who struggles with rice and is a ‘terrible snacker’

Ella Walker grills the celebrity chef on his food likes and dislikes.

Press Association
Last updated: 4 June 2018 - 3.15pm

He’s a man who certainly knows his fish, but what else makes up Padstow legend and telly chef Rick Stein’s diet?

The 71-year-old’s latest cookbook saw him redo a trip he took as a youngster, through Mexico and California, so we caught up with him to find out more about what’s influenced how he cooks and what he eats.

Fish tacos by Rick Stein (James Murphy/PA)
Fish tacos by Rick Stein (James Murphy/PA)

Your ultimate death-row, last-night-on-earth meal, would be… I always have to think about it most seriously, and I think it would have to be a pan-fried dover sole and new potatoes.

The thing you still can’t make is… I still don’t think I’m 100% good at cooking rice. I probably need to go live in Iran for a bit because they are the best rice cookers in the world.

Your favourite store cupboard essential has to be… At the moment it’s a little tin of chipotle en adobo – chipotles in tomato sauce – and I just love that.

 

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The kitchen utensil you can’t live without is… Currently it’s a tortilla press, because although I say in the book, don’t worry, do go out and just buy 100% corn tortillas in supermarkets, homemade tortillas are just fabulous. When I came home from India it was a karai – the cooking vessel they use.

If you get hungry late at night, the snack you’ll reach for is… Oh god, ohh, there’s a few. I am a terrible snacker as my wife will attest to. If there happens to be some fresh white crab meat, some homemade mayonnaise and some crusty bread, I’ll eat the lot.

Preferably your eggs will be… I like them fried, sunny side up.

Your favourite childhood dinner was always… Steak and kidney pudding to be honest – people now say they don’t really like kidneys, but I loved them as a child.

For dinner last night you ate… I went to Colbert in Sloane Square [London] and I had avocado vinaigrette, and shared my wife’s snails in garlic butter, and then I had steak frites.

Your takeaway of choice is… I don’t do ‘em, I really don’t.

Your hangover cure has to be… A swim in cold water.

And you really can’t stomach… I’m very unkeen on – I don’t know why – but it’s an Australian thing called rocky road, which is marshmallows and chocolate. I just don’t like it.

The Road To Mexico by Rick Stein, photography by James Murphy, is published by BBC Books, priced £26. Available now.

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