RICK STEIN AT JOHN LEWIS
On 27 September, globetrotting chef Rick Stein took a break from his travels to launch his new range of cook and tableware at our Oxford Street store. Rick shared his seafood expertise with our customers and cooked two delicious dishes, all while sharing tales of his travels
Dinnerware inspired by the sea
Rick Stein is synonymous with seafood, so what better place to draw inspiration from than the sea? Exclusive to and produced in collaboration with us, his new dinnerware range is influenced by the sweeping seascapes and landscapes of the Cornish coastline.
‘We wanted to create something that reflected the sea,’ said Rick, ‘and we decided to make a competition for students at the Falmouth School of Art to design the tableware. The criteria we set for the design was that it had to be simple and had to represent our surroundings.’
The winning entry was the aptly named Coves of Cornwall, a design that features simple, abstract depictions of the Cornish coastline in rich hues of blue that evoke depth and waves, set against the clean backdrop of white china. ‘There’s something very identifiable about the sea,’ said Rick, ‘and the design has quite a Japanese quality to it that’s beautifully simple.’
A passion for food and travel
Rick has forged a long and successful career through his combined passion for food and travel, exploring the world’s cuisines to discover how the locals cook and eat.
‘I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to travel and find out how different cuisines work,’ said Rick, who has recently returned from his latest culinary expedition to Mexico. ‘I love it when people are passionate about what they eat. In Mexico, a lot of the communities don’t have a lot of money, but they all get together to celebrate their food.’
As well as encouraging celebration of food, Rick was quick to echo a sentiment shared by many others: food doesn’t have to be perfect. ‘Cooking isn’t rocket science, and I don’t think it should be,’ he said. ‘A lot of chefs complicate their food, but to me it’s all about the way it tastes.’
Authentic, exciting, flavoursome food
During the event, Rick cooked two delicious dishes: mussels with Bayonne ham & shallots, and pan fried hake on spring onion mash with a soy butter sauce using the mussel pot and oval fish frying pan from his range of cookware.
‘I’m just a home cook really,’ he said. ‘I make mistakes like everyone else. I used to get embarrassed about messing things up, and people would ask if I was doing it on purpose. But it’s the mistakes that make it authentic and exciting.’
Those who’ve watched Rick’s shows will know that he’s not one for unnecessary flourishes, but rather hearty, flavoursome food that speaks for itself. A dish doesn’t have to look perfect in order to taste great, and, as Rick said, ‘How can you learn how to cook if you don’t learn how to eat?’