One of the country's top seafood chefs, Rick Stein's empire in the Cornish fishing village of Padstow includes - wait for it - a seafood restaurant, a bistro, a deli, a patisserie, a hotel and a fish and chip shop, not to mention the Padstow Seafood School. Rick is so important to the local economy that the little little fishing village has been nicknamed Padstein.
It was his enthusiasm for the great seafood around the coast of Great Britain that led him to make his first TV cookery series Taste of the Sea in 1995 and he has been bringing his enthusiasm for good, simple food to our screens ever since.
After graduating in English from Oxford University, Rick moved to Padstow in 1975 to open a nightclub. Fortunately for Cornish foodies, the club wasn't a success and Rick turned to the restaurant business instead.
Following on from the huge success of his restaurants, Rick has done a great deal for small producers in the UK, championing producers up and down the country in his Food Heroes series. But his greatest passion is still uncomplicated, fresh seafood, as served in his restaurants in Padstow, "nothing is more exhilarating than fresh fish simply cooked," he says.
Rick has done many books and tv series, including Stein's Taste of the Sea, Fruits of the Sea, Seafood Odyssey, Fresh Food, Seafood Lovers' Guide, Food Heroes, French Odyssey, Mediterranean Escapes and Coast To Coast.
All his books and series show a commitment to the quality of food and a concern for sustainability in fishing and good husbandry in farming. So much so that he is a firm patron of the Marine Stewardship Council who promote sensible fishing practices.
Rick was awarded an OBE in the 2003 New Year Honours list for services to West Country Tourism, testament to the rising popularity of Padstow and Cornwall as a holiday destination. His impact on the local economy of Padstow is such that it has been nicknamed "Padstein".
Rick Stein photo gallery.
Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey, BBC Books, Jul 2009
Rick Stein's Coast to Coast, BBC Books, Oct 2008
Rick Stein's Complete Seafood: A Step-By-Step Reference, Ten Speed Press, April 2008
Rick Stein's Mediterranean Escapes, BBC Books, Aug 2007
Rick Stein's Seafood, BBC Books, 7 Sep 2006
Rick Stein's Seafood, BBC Books, 2006
Rick Stein's Food Heroes, BBC Books, 2005
Rick Stein's French Odyssey, BBC Books, Sep 2005
The Seafood Restaurant
St Petroc's Bistro
Rick Stein's Café
Stein's Fish and Chips