Rick Stein
Christopher Richard Stein

(1947-01-04) 4 January 1947 (age 77)
(m. 1975; div. 2007)
Sarah Burns
(m. 2011)
Culinary career
Cooking styleAsian, Australian, European

Christopher Richard Stein, CBE (born 4 January 1947) is an English celebrity chef, restaurateur, writer and television presenter. Along with business partner (and first wife) Jill Stein, he runs the Stein hotel and restaurant business in the UK. The business has a number of renowned restaurants, shops and hotels in Padstow along with other restaurants in Marlborough, Winchester and Barnes. He is also the head chef and a co-owner of the "Rick Stein at Bannisters" restaurants in Mollymook and Port Stephens in Australia, with his second wife, Sarah.[1] He writes cookery books and has presented numerous cookery series for the BBC.

Early years

Of German descent, Christopher Richard Stein was born on 4 January 1947[2] in Churchill, Oxfordshire, to Eric Stein (1908-1965) and Dorothy Gertrude née Jackson (1909-1999).[3] He was born and brought up on a farm.[4][5][6]

Stein was educated at Wells Court, a preparatory school just outside Tewkesbury,[7] then Wells House, the Court's bigger sister-school at Malvern Wells, and then Uppingham School. He took A-levels in English, history and geography, but failed all of them. He moved to a cram school in Brighton, gaining E grades in English and history.[8]

Stein partially completed a hotel management traineeship with British Transport Hotels at its Great Western Royal Hotel in Paddington.[9] He worked there as a chef for six months. Distraught by his father's suicide, at age 19 he went to Australia, where he worked as a labourer in an abattoir and as a clerk in a naval dockyard. He travelled to New Zealand and Mexico around that time to "take some time out".[10]

Being on his own, he read widely, reflected on his attitude to education, and applied successfully to New College, Oxford, where he earned an English degree in 1971. Shortly after that, he moved to Padstow.[11]


Rick Stein's Seafood Restaurant, Padstow

After graduating, Stein converted a mobile disco in Padstow, which he had run as a student, into a quayside nightclub with his friend, Johnny. It became known for its freeze-dried curries. However, the nightclub lost its licence and was closed down by the police, mainly due to frequent brawls with local fishermen. The pair still had a licence for a restaurant in another part of the building, so they continued with that to avoid bankruptcy.[10][11] Stein ran the kitchen using the experience he had gained as a commis chef. Eventually he converted it into a small harbour-side bistro, The Seafood Restaurant, with his first wife Jill in 1975.[12] As of 2015,[needs update] his business operates four restaurants, a bistro, a café, a seafood delicatessen, a pâtisserie shop, a gift shop and a cookery school.[13]

In 2007, threats against Stein's businesses were made by Cornish nationalists.[14] His impact on the economy of Padstow is such that it has been nicknamed "Padstein".[15] In 2009, Stein made his first acquisition in the nearby village of St Merryn, 3½ miles from Padstow, taking over the Cornish Arms public house on the village's outskirts, intending to keep it as a traditional Cornish pub.[16]

Stein's Patisserie in Padstow

In October 2009, Stein and his future second wife (fiancée at the time), the publicist Sarah Burns, opened Rick Stein at Bannisters in Mollymook, Australia. Stein said at the time of opening, "Ever since a memorable weekend eating Pambula oysters and flathead in Merimbula in the sixties, I've had the image of the clean blue sea and sweet seafood of the South Coast fixed in my head so when I was introduced to Mollymook about six years ago I knew that one day I would open up a restaurant celebrating local fish and shellfish but keeping it really simple."[1]

Rick Stein's Café in Padstow

In 2018, Stein opened a second Rick Stein at Bannisters in Salamander Bay in Port Stephens, with his second wife, Sarah. Stein has become a popular television presenter on food programmes. After appearing once as a guest chef in Keith Floyd's 1985 series Floyd on Fish and in his 1986 series Floyd on Food, he was offered the chance to present his own series – like the "travelogue" style of cookery show pioneered by Floyd – on BBC television, using Floyd's producer and director David Pritchard.[citation needed] This caused a feud, only resolved shortly before Floyd's death.[citation needed]

His shows have included Rick Stein's Taste of the Sea, Fruits of the Sea, Seafood Odyssey, Fresh Food, Seafood Lovers' Guide, Food Heroes, French Odyssey, Mediterranean Escapes, Far Eastern Odyssey, Rick Stein's Spain and Rick Stein's India. In the last five series,[when?] he set out in search of the best in the region's foods.[17]

Stein was often accompanied by his Jack Russell terrier, Chalky, until his death in 2007.[18] So popular was Chalky that Sharp's Brewery named two speciality beers after him.[19]

A book has accompanied each series, and Stein's book English Seafood Cookery won the Glenfiddich Award for Food Book of the Year in 1989. Stein was awarded the OBE in the 2003 New Year Honours for services to tourism in Cornwall[20] and the CBE in the 2018 New Year Honours for services to the economy.[21]

On 22 June 2020, it was confirmed that Stein's restaurant in Porthleven, Cornwall would close permanently due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The restaurant had been closed since March 2020.[22] In July 2020, it was announced that chef Michael Caines would take over the restaurant.[23]

Personal life

Stein at a 2006 cookery demonstration in Melbourne, Australia

In 1965, when Stein was 18, his father, a retired managing director of The Distillers Company, who suffered from bipolar disorder, killed himself by jumping from a cliff near the family's holiday home at Trevose Head.[24][25][26]

Stein met his first wife Jill Newstead[27] in Padstow. They married in 1975, both aged 28, and set up their restaurant and hotel business. Stein has three sons with Jill: Edward, Jack, and Charles who are involved in the family business.[28][29]

Stein met Sarah Burns, 20 years his junior, in Australia in 1997, when he was 50. She was also married, and working as a publicity manager for Australia Gourmet Traveller magazine.[30][31] Stein and Burns had a secret five-year affair before Jill found out in 2002.[32] She and Stein separated in 2002 and divorced in 2007,[33] but agreed to continue to run the business together.[34] Burns divorced in 2003, and she and Stein married on 7 October 2011.[30][31]

Stein has a brother, John, and a sister, Henrietta.[35] He also has a half-brother, Jeremy, his mother's son from her first marriage.[35] He is the uncle of DJ and music producer Judge Jules,[36] and the artist Lucy Stein.

In 2022, Stein underwent open heart surgery at the Royal Brompton Hospital to repair a defective heart valve.[37] Appearing live on BBC's, The One Show in October 2023, promoting his book, "Simple Suppers", he shared that his heart surgery experience had inspired his back to basics recipes but he inadvertently used a swear word and the show's host and Stein had to apologise for the error.[38]

Restaurants owned or operated by Rick Stein


Restaurant Location Date opened Date closed Ref
The Seafood Restaurant Padstow, Cornwall 1975 - [39]
St. Petroc's Bistro Padstow, Cornwall 1997 - [40]
Stein's Fish & Chips Padstow, Cornwall 2004 - [41]
The Cornish Arms Padstow, Cornwall 16 February 2009 - [42]
Rick Stein, Falmouth Falmouth, Cornwall 19 March 2010 October 2020 [43]
Rick Stein, Winchester Winchester, Hampshire 4 November 2014 - [44]
Rick Stein, Porthleven Porthleven, Cornwall 8 November 2014 March 2020 [45][46]
Rick Stein, Fistral Newquay, Cornwall 3 April 2015 - [47]
Rick Stein, Sandbanks Sandbanks, Dorset November 2015 - [48]
Rick Stein, Marlborough Marlborough, Wiltshire 8 October 2016 - [49]
Rick Stein, Barnes Barnes, London 23 March 2017 - [50]
Stein’s on the Quay Padstow, Cornwall Early Summer 2020 Late Summer 2020 [51]


Restaurant Location Date opened Date closed Ref
Rick Stein at Bannisters Mollymook Mollymook, New South Wales 1 October 2009 - [52]
Rick Stein at Bannisters Port Stephens Port Stephens, New South Wales 7 September 2018 - [53]




Other awards

This section of a biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately from the article and its talk page, especially if potentially libelous.Find sources: "Rick Stein" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (December 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this message)

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