Yolanda and I rubbed shoulders today with celebrity chef Rick Stein (who is my favourite TV presenter,next to Grand Designs’ Kevin McCloud). The luncheon was hosted by another local gourmet luminary Luke Mangan at his fine dining restaurant, glass, on the first floor of the Sydney Hilton. The entrée and main courses were created by Mangan and Stein and generated just as much sweet warmth and genuine charm as his dessert, caramel baked custard (crema Catalna).This was a smooth, yummy-tummy,Spanish-style crème brûlée, featured in his current cookbook, Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes.
Yolanda got her copy signed by Rick as he wandered through the restaurant meeting fans and foodies. He told me that Spain was a recent gourmet destination and that he thinks the filming for his next TV series, also produced by the BBC and destined to hit our shores after its release in Britain, will translate the passionate authenticity of the land well.
In the evening we were guests at the Sydney Opera House where Rick filled the Concert Hall with his avid food lovers – a first I think for a Chef. His charismatic style and great sense of humour are a welcome change in the sometimes serious world of being a chef. Throughout a two-hour culinary journey Rick brought his travels to life with stories and footage from his TV series. His philosophy on food is to find joy in cooking and eating and this is certainly reflected in his unbound enthusiasm for all things culinary.
Maureen de Groot