World-famous English foodie Rick Stein brings his live stage show to New Zealand in August. Here, he tells us what to expect.
When were you last in New Zealand, Rick?
Last June in 2009 I was at Cape Kidnappers in Hawkes Bay and loved it. Since then I have been filming a programme on Italian opera and food, and working on my new series in Spain.
After leaving university you ran a nightclub in Padstow. Was it a success?
It was not a particularly happy time as I was constantly trying to sort out fights and found myself in hospital too many times.
You employ 300 people in Padstow, run a restaurant, cafe, hotel, deli, patisserie, gift shop, fish'n' chip shop and cookery school ... and now you're going on tour. Why?
And what drives you? Simply, because I love to share my enthusiasm for good cooking.
How do you balance it all?
How did your passion for fish begin and why does it continue so?
Childhood holidays in Cornwall. My dad had a share in a Cornish fishing boat and we always had loads of fresh fish. My mum was a great cook.
How has being in Australasia influenced your approach to food?
Both Australia and New Zealand have a much stronger understanding of Asian cooking than we have in Britain and I have tried to incorporate that into some of my recipes.
Favourite ingredient at the moment?
Smoked pimento because we are filming in Spain and it appears in many of their dishes.
An Indonesian seafood dish with mussels, prawns and calamari. I am also loving hot chili crab.
Tell us about your Live on Stage?
It's an exciting mixture of my real pleasures in life; cooking, travel and conversation. I hope to take you on a culinary journey following my travels and TV series, showing some footage from the shows and cooking some of the dishes that have inspired me along the way. I am joined by my good friend and old work colleague, Paul Sellars, who will be doing some of the cooking with me and we hope that people will enjoy it.
What do you hope people will get from it?
Knowledge, inspiration and fun!
You have travelled and cooked all over the world. Where is your favourite place?
I think I could make a case for anywhere I have been to - except Corsica, though they do have some brilliant cheese.
How do you relax?
I love cold water swimming. I swim every day.
What words or phrases do you most overuse?
"Delish!", "One of the things I like most ...", "Fab!" and "Yes" because I say yes too often.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Graham Greene, Brigitte Bardot, Sas [my fiancee], Brian Turner and Tim Etchells [one of the producers from my show].
What is your guiltiest pleasure? What keeps you awake at night? What are your other passions in life apart from food?
Sas, Sas and Sas!
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Win with Viva
We are delighted to have the last two tickets available to see Rick Stein in an exclusive session at Nosh at 2.45pm on Tuesday August 3. This one-off event will be held at the Melting Pot, the fabulous new display kitchen at Nosh, and Rick will answer questions from the 60 special guests while the Nosh chefs recreate his recipes. We also have five signed copies of the cook book, valued at $75 each, to give away. To go in the draw, simply write your name, address and phone number on the back of an envelope and send it to: Rick Stein at Nosh Competition, Viva, NZ Herald, PO Box 3290, Auckland. Entries close July 28. Winners will be contacted by phone.
* See Rick Stein's Food Odyssey in Auckland on Wed August 4 at 8pm and Thu August 5 at 5pm at the Aotea Centre, from $95, ph (09) 357 3355. See him in Wellington on Sat August 7 at 7.30pm and Sun August 8 at 1pm at the St James Theatre, from $96.50, ph (04) 384 3840.