Rick Stein, Abergavenny Borough Theatre
FROM dealing with his father’s suicide to holding the best parties in Padstow to becoming one of Britain’s best-loved cooks – Rick Stein spoke of his memoirs with emotion, humour and honesty.
As preparations got underway for this year’s food festival in the town, the Abergavenny Borough Theatre saw a sell-out show as an audience of all ages sat and listened to the star give an insight into his life following the publication of his memoir ‘Under a Mackerel Sky’.
The hour’s talk saw Stein speak to food writer Xanthe Clay both about the hard and successful times of his life including growing up with his father who suffered with mental illness, the difficulties of attending boarding school and the decision to run away to Australia, America and Mexico after his father’s death.
It was this moment which formed the title of his memoir after the star noticed a mackerel sky as he was getting ready to leave for his travels and felt this defined the nervousness he was feeling at the time.
After returning and studying at Oxford and carrying out his first cooking job in a Paddington hotel, Stein then made his way to his childhood “refuge” place, Cornwall, where he bought a nightclub.
His enjoyment of throwing parties in Padstow and his realisation of his love of giving people pleasure with good food and good music led to the restaurant owner in him being born. Although he admitted the fact that his club was closed down by the police was also a small contributing factor to this too.
Bringing the audience up to date as he recalled how the success of his restaurant business grew and how his first brush with television led to his success today, the star showed that there is a quite a story behind the cook we see on our screens .
An engaging account which provided the perfect dish to kick off the 2013 food festival in style.
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