Rick Stein

It might surprise you to know that Rick Stein’s name isn’t actually Rick. We cover that and more in our complete guide to the celebrity chef who instilled a love of Cornish cooking in us all.


Birthday: 04 January 1947

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Despite being renowned for his TV shows based in the South West and for his Cornish restaurant empire, Rick Stein wasn’t actually born by the beaches. Instead, Rick, who was christened Christopher Richard Stein, was born in Oxfordshire on the 4 January 1947 to his parents, Eric and Dorothy Stein. Rick also has a brother John and a sister Henrietta, as well as a half-brother. Very sadly, Rick’s father committed suicide when then now-chef was then just 19.

The loss of his father propelled him to move to Australia where he worked a labourer and a clerk in a dockyard. After moving on from there to travel across New Zealand and Mexico, Rick decided he’d like to have another go at academia (the young Rick famously failed all of his A-levels). It was during this time that he decided to apply to New College Oxford, where he would go on to earn a degree in English in 1971.

Following graduation, Rick moved to Padstow and it was here that his career in hospitality began in earnest. He ran a mobile disco with his friend Johnny and after it got shut down for being the location of one too many fights between party-seekers and fishermen, the pair were allowed to keep solely the restaurant license. So, to avoid bankruptcy, the duo decided to convert their property into a small bistro called The Seafood Restaurant, which Rick later would run with his first wife, Jill. Alongside this he subsequently opened a delicatessen, a café, a patisserie, a gift shop and a cook school which collectively helped to earn the town the nickname of "Padstein".

It was in 1997 that Rick met his second wife, Sarah Burns who was working as a publicity manager for Australia Gourmet Traveller at the time. It is though that subsequently the pair had a five-year affair before being married in 2011. Despite the estrangement from his first wife on a romantic level, Rick and Jill have continued to run their mini restaurant empire collaboratively and share three sons together: Edward, Jack and Charles.

Rick’s restaurant empire continued to grow with him opening Australian outposts, two Rick Stein at Bannisters restaurants, with his second wife Sarah in 2009 and 2018.

Throughout his cookery career Rick has featured on many TV shows, both as a guest and a presenter of his own titles. Alongside these the celebrity chef has also published a whole library of cookbooks and won many awards, including receiving a CBE in 2018 for services to the economy.

Rick Stein's Books

The Road to Mexico
The Road to Mexico
Published 2017
From Venice to Istanbul
From Venice to Istanbul
Published 2015
Fish & Shellfish
Fish & Shellfish
Published 2014