Asian Cooking, Aspiring Anecdotes and Sumptuous Stay at Stein’s!
I’ve been a long term admirer of the TV chef Rick Stein, I’ve met him a couple of times and he is always pretty unassuming – you could say he is a guilty pleasure of mine. We’ve also met his sons too. He and his family have created an impressive brand, with complimenting businesses they have all worked hard to achieve their success within food, drink and interior design, above all, thanks to their training programme they offer excellent customer service and regardless of your spend – a cuppa, a meal, a stay or a trip to the deli or the on-line shop we are all buying into the brand and it oozes style and quality.
Richard and I have been avid viewers of his numerous cookery programmes, my viewing, I must admit, often makes me want to visit the country, as well as try out some of the dishes, often with my own twist, and if we’ve already paid a visit, they bring back fond memories!
The relaxed viewing takes me on a journey, so the programmes are enjoyed over a quiet cuppa mid-morning, or, if I’m lucky I watch whilst drinking a cheeky glass of Albarino – when he was in Spain, and with a beer when he’s been in Vietnam, the USA and most recently in Mexico! Remember the accident with the mandolin – that made impressive viewing!
So, imagine my delight when Richard and I were invited to go to Padstow and try out the new Asian Street Food Cookery Class!
We arrived the night before and stayed the night at the delightful St Petroc’s, we were met on arrival by the cheerful and ever so helpful George who offered us the new Rick Stein gin and tonic, which reminded me of sunny days by the seaside. We then were taken off to our room with a view out to the estuary and the town.
We love Padstow, we’ve visited many times in the past 20 years and it was just as well as we didn’t get a chance to explore, as we headed off for a quick drink in Ruby’s bar, a lovely homely bar. We then we made our way over to the original Seafood Restaurant – we’ve been going there for years and it’s a great place, with superb staff and needless to say with GREAT FOOD and ATMOSPHERE. It’s a great place to people watch as well. I had the turbot and Richard had the John Dory with Crab, Wild Garlic, Spinach and Asparagus and we washed it down with a glass or so of rose! Manager Claire, John and the rest of the team made us feel extremely welcome, the staff have a great knowledge of the food they are serving and they all had amazing personalities too – they make you feel special despite the restaurant being busy mid-week. I know it’s quite pricey for some, but from time to time we all deserve a treat!
The lights went out in Padstow that evening due to some maintenance, the hotel provided us with a torch so we made our way up the slope to bed and slept peaceful. We woke to the sound of the seagulls and a sunny day beckoned – perfect after all that snow!
We decided we would skip breakfast, and we made our way down to Rick Stein’s Cookery School, situated right alongside the estuary (what a sensational view) where we were met by Laura. We registered and were offered a chef jacket, at first we were a little shy about putting it on but then we went with it and were pleased that we did, as it made us feel special.
We were a class of 12 which consisted of one other couple and the rest of the class all came on their own. Everyone was friendly and relaxed.
We were given a welcome and introduced to the chefs, our teachers! We were told what to expect from our day which included:
- Baked spiced fish
- Prawns with crispy garlic and chilli
- Grilled pork balls with peanut dipping sauce
- Turmeric-marinated chicken wrapped in lime leaves
- Crispy mussel pancakes
- Malaccan black pepper crab with black beans, ginger, garlic and curry leaves
Throughout the day we were taught how to prepare and cook each dish, how to use knives properly, how to sharpen a knife, chefs tricks, how to cook and it was all great fun too. You can expect a busy day packed full of advice, washed down with mouth-watering wine and great food which you cook yourself! We also learnt about local produce, herbs and spices as well as enjoy the live demonstrations from the chefs who have all been trained the Stein way!
We had a lot of entertainment from the chefs, as they are all happy in their work, caring and fun loving. We all loved the Rick and Jill anecdotes and the inside story – we know now that Rick loves a bargain just like the rest of us,all I will say is he likes a bargain when it comes to a blender!
We learnt so much, it was intense but lots of fun, and we were made to feel very welcome by each member of the team.
I can honestly say we had a fantastic day out, and a great overnight stay. For more about the cookery classes on the links below: