Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Renee of It’s Book Talk blog and is a way of sharing older books or older reviews. Look out for other book bloggers taking part, including Jill from Jill’s Book Cafe
Published 2004 by Penguin
Source: My own copy
My Thoughts & Review
I’ve always enjoyed watching Rick Stein’s cookery programmes and still watch the old reruns of earlier ones with his dog Chalky.
What I particularly enjoy is Rick Stein’s easy relaxed style of chatting to people from all walks of life. Reading this memoir of his life made me realise exactly why he is like that because he has lived, often a very chequered life it has to be said but a very interesting and varied one.
Rick was from a relatively well off background and although his bipolar father had bouts of melancholy and mania, Rick’s childhood appeared to be a happy one on the whole.
When Rick was nineteen however his father committed suicide. A grief stricken and traumatised Rick went off travelling and at one point worked in the Australian outback laying rail tracks. It was during these days of travel and menial labour mixing with such a wide variety of people that he found himself, gained in confidence and matured but it wasn’t an easy process by any means as documented in this brutally honest memoir. Rick writes very much as he speaks, in a non stop stream of consciousness as the thoughts enter his head. All of his adventures are recounted in a raw, honest and self-effacing way. He is never the heroic central character, more the buffoon who constantly messes up but learns from it.
His love for Cornwall eventually brought him home from his travels. After trying out various occupations and money making endeavours that included running a nightclub, a mobile disco and after an enormous amount of hard graft, building up and running his own restaurant alongside his wife Jill, he became the successful entrepreneur celebrity cook that we see on our screens today.
What I also loved about the book is that throughout each stage of his life we hear of the music he was listening to, the fashions of the time and the books he was reading and also of course how his love of food, particularly good seafood developed.
A really interesting read
About the author
Rick Stein’s passion for using good-quality local produce and his talent for creating delicious flavour combinations in his books and restaurants have won him a host of awards, accolades and fans. As well as presenting a number of television series, he has published many best-selling cookery books, including French Odyssey, Coast to Coast, Far Eastern Odyssey, Rick Stein’s Spain and Rick Stein’s India.
Rick has always believed in showcasing local seafood and farm produce in his four restaurants in Padstow, Cornwall, where he also has a seafood cookery school, food shops and a pub in the nearby village of St Merryn. In 2003 Rick was awarded an OBE for services to West Country tourism. He divides his time between Padstow and Australia, where he also has a seafood restaurant by the sea in Mollymook, NSW.