A Cook Abroad episode 5 – Rick Stein’s Australia: Rick Stein is in Australia, a country he fell in love with on his first visit at the age of 19. On a journey in search of the ingredients revolutionising Australian cooking, Rick sets off from his new home in Mollymook, New South Wales, up to Sydney before flying to Tasmania.
In Sydney, Rick revisits some of his old haunts and reminisces over his misspent youth, a time when he was fleeing a personal tragedy back home. In the fish market, where his love affair with Australian fish culture began, Rick learns that a staggering 70 per cent of fish eaten in the country is imported. Now, after years of looking to other countries for its ingredients, Australia is beginning to look to its own produce, and the most modern move on the culinary circuit is to go ancient. Rick travels out to Botany Bay, the site of James Cook’s first landing, where he gets back to basics, does some foraging and learns the art of cooking the aboriginal way.
But when it comes to cooking with native foods, the sleepy backwater of Tasmania is leading the way. Tasmania is not only an emerging foodie destination but, as Rick discovers, an eco-paradise. He goes hunting for wallaby, samples the best single-malt whisky in the world and tastes sustainably farmed salmon that has become a national obsession. With small-scale producers making a splash on the international food scene, this wild outpost has also become a great business model for a new – sustainable – kind of industry.
A Cook Abroad episode 5 – Rick Stein’s Australia
Christopher Richard “Rick” Stein, 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.
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”.