Padstow is a traditional working fishing port nestled at the head of the Camel River. Characterised by cobbled streets, boutique shops, art galleries and eateries, the charming village is a popular holiday destination. A tranquil harbour decorated with fishing boats, Padstow attracts visitors looking to sample Rick Stein’s culinary delights.
A world renowned and award winning chef, Rick Stein is best known for his love of fresh seafood. Since the opening of The Seafood Restaurant in 1975, where diners can experience fish fresh from the ocean, Rick has been busy growing his name as a seafood chef. Not only has he cooked for the Queen, Prince Philip and Margaret Thatcher (to name drop only a few) but is an author of more than 20 bestselling cookbooks. Rick’s love of fresh seafood has inspired him to travel the world to explore culinary traditions. His adventures have included barges, clapped-out caravans and in the early days his beloved dog, Chalky.
Padstow has been coined Padstein by visitors and food lovers, as an acknowledgement to the many Stein local bars and restaurants. In the past 30 years, Rick has opened new doors for his business. His name can now be seen in locations including Fistral, Falmouth, Porthleven and St Merryn in Cornwall. The millennium saw the opening of The Rick Stein Cookery School in Padstow. Popular with budding chefs and food fanatics, the school offers visitors a place to enjoy cooking and tasting food.
Situated in a spacious, light-filled building perched on the South Quay, the cookery school offers more than 30 courses and lectures. With a small ratio of people in a class, you are able to learn how to create mouthwatering dishes from Rick’s leading chefs.
Overlooking the Camel Estuary with further views across to Rock, the school is a perfect place to learn how to cook seafood. There are individual cooking stations for eight pairs, a chef’s kitchen area and a long dining table. The day is filled with demonstrations, hands-on cooking and plenty of food tasting.
As a student, we joined head chef Nick Evans on a half-day seafood cookery course. The whole morning revolved around lunch, where a feast of shellfish was served and washed down with a glass of wine. During the morning, students were able to learn how to cook razor calms and mussels through chef demonstrations.
The kitchen was filled with the aromas of fresh seafood as the pans fried and the pots boiled. Measuring, chopping and cooking the ingredients enabled students to get involved in the day. Students walked away with not only new recipes to cook at home but an impressive set of new kitchen skills.
After class, students are presented with a certificate and folder containing useful hints and tips along with delicious recipes and heart-warming meal ideas.
There are plenty of courses to choose from at Rick Stein’s Cookery School. Get hands-on with Far Eastern cuisine, Mediterranean dishes and traditional winter warmers. Although seafood plays a big part in the cookery school, you can try courses which use other ingredients. All courses help create perfect dishes to curl up with and cook in your self-catering holiday home.