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Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100: Rick Stein, the Seafood Restaurant

01 July 2011
Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100: Rick Stein, the Seafood Restaurant

Overall ranking: 27 (ranked 41 in 2010)

Chef ranking: 6 (ranked 11 in 2010)

Rick Stein - Snapshot

Rick Stein is the self-taught celebrity chef and restaurateur whose Seafood Restaurant put Padstow and north Cornwall on the map. Stein's passion for seafood helped spark a similar appetite in the public, which has lapped up numerous books he has written since 1988 and a plethora of television series which began in 1995. He runs four restaurants, a pub, a cookery school and three shops in Padstow as well as a seafood eaterie in nearby Falmouth and a pub in St Merryn. In 2009 Stein opened his first overseas venture, in Australia.

Rick Stein - Career guide

Stein, who was born in Oxfordshire in 1947, moved to Padstow in north Cornwall in 1965. He partially completed a hotel management traineeship with British Transport Hotels at its Great Western hotel in Paddington, London, before taking an English degree at Oxford.

It was joined by a café in 1995, St Petroc's Bistro and Hotel in 1997 and a deli in the late 1990s. Stein then added the Padstow Seafood School and Stein's Gift Shop in 2000, accommodation site St Edmund's House in 2001, a pÁ¢tisserie in 2003 and a fish and chip shop in 2004.

2009 proved busy for the chef. In February he took over the lease of the Cornish Arms St Merryn, just two miles from Padstow, then in October, Stein opened, with his fiancée, publicist Sarah Burns, Rick Stein at Bannisters in Mollymook, on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia. In April 2010 he opened another UK venture - a seafood bar, fish and chip shop and deli in Falmouth.

Rick Stein - What we think

Seafood and Rick Stein go together like cod and chips. The chef, whose cuisine is marked by simply-cooked top-notch ingredients, much of them sourced daily from local fishermen, has an infectious passion for fish. As he says: "Nothing is more exhilarating than fresh fish simply cooked."

For 20 years Stein remained something of an industry secret until his friendship with the late Keith Floyd catapulted him into the national consciousness with his first TV series, Taste of the Sea, in 1995.

While his television career went from strength to strength, starring in programmes such as Fruits of the Sea, Seafood Odyssey, Fresh Food, Seafood Lovers' Guide, Food Heroes - and Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey in 2009, Stein continued to win plaudits for his cooking at the Seafood Restaurant.

It has retained three AA-rosettes as well as scooping the Good Hotel Guide's Cesar Award in 1995, the Egon Ronay Restaurant of the Year accolade in 1996, and the AA's English Seafood Restaurant of the Year award in 2002.

When Stein won the 1999 Chef Award Catey, the judges described him as "a true chef's chef" and he was voted the Chef's Chef the following year by the AA. His passion for the industry at large is reflected in his efforts to raise cooking standards. He opened his seafood cookery school in 2000 and, in 2004, launched an interactive training programme to improve health and safety practices in catering.

Stein, who was appointed OBE in 2003 for services to West Country tourism, is also involved in local and national campaigns to raise standards among fishmongers and to conserve endangered fish stocks.

Stein's imprint can also be found on the highly successful London neighbourhood restaurants run by one of his protégés, Sam Harrison. Stein has given financial backing to Sam's Brasserie in Chiswick and Harrison's in Balham and is on hand for support whenever Harrison needs it.
Rick Stein's ranking in the 2010 Caterersearch.com 100 >>

Menuwatch: Rick Stein's Seafood Bar >>

Austering menus you can bank on this spring >>

Former Michelin-starred chef Paul Ripley returns to work with Rick Stein >>

Chicken curry kapitan by Rick Stein >>

Malaysian cuisine - spice mission >>

Interview with Rick Stein and Sam Harrison on the opening of Harrisons >>

The Seafood Restaurant website >>

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