Tag Archives: rick stein show

The Rick Stein Show: some thoughts

I’m just someone with an enthusiasm for food and a curiosity that’s sent me sniffing around all over the place looking for lovely dishes in all corners of the globe.
~ Rick Stein, Coast to Coast

What I loved most about Rick Stein’s show: the laughter, carefree energy and simplicity that bounced off the stage & screen in waves and rippled back from the audience in equal measure. Just as captivating and satisfying as good food.

Also, have you ever wished you could dive through your TV screen and just SMELL the food being cooked! I have, countless times. This time, I didn’t have to imagine the good smells… (what a dream!)

Here’s Rick Stein himself making a brief appearance at the VIP event before the show, with Mark Sainsbury from “Close Up” (who was a marvellous co-host). It’s a wonder we got their faces in the photo at all, given the number of people swarming around them.

The VIP event itself, in all honesty, left much to be desired… I think food is best shared in a place of generosity, laughter, conversation, sincerity, etc… and unfortunately, I really did not feel much of either of these. Nothing to do with the organisers, or Rick, just the unfortunate combination of people perhaps? (I felt a vague air of stale snootiness… not my thing at all).

The wine was superb, though, as was the goodie bag – and I was seriously glad for Matt’s company!

When we finally got to go in, it was wonderful gazing at the set. What a lot of thought and effort must’ve gone into this! Wow. I also never would’ve thought of theatre and food as a winning combination really, but I stand corrected!

The show itself was peppered with funny anecdotes, quality video footage, yummy smells… and it had something important too: all the signs of an effective and great team. I don’t think you can hide poor rapport on stage, or expect to have a good show – especially a light-hearted, people-and-food-centered one – with a team which doesn’t work well together. Everyone pitched in and almost seemed to be dancing together on stage. The resultant air of fun was contagious.

The cameraman, Mark Sainsbury & Rick Stein all kept us entertained with lively banter and put on a great show.

Loved the sight of the seafood dishes and familiar Southeast Asian ingredients like galangal and belachan, and the way the show led us on an “odyssey” through different regions of the world. I was also pretty entertained by a particularly boisterous pair of ladies sitting near to us. They were utterly pissed (well I hope they can blame it on wine!) and as a result a rather humorous sight to behold…

A copy of Rick Stein’s “Coast to Coast” was included in my goodie bag, and I made his “Roast chicken with parsley and tarragon, poached Puy lentils and roasted vine tomatoes” dish last night (page 30).

Perhaps I’ll try his seafood recipes when I next get down to the market (the photo of moules marinière just about has me drooling)!

Again, thank you Lunchbox Productions for the honour of winning your competition, and this great prize!

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The joys of friendship, Auckland, and tickets to Rick Stein’s show

I feel extremely lucky, extremely grateful, and a little bittersweet, too.
~ Wentworth Miller

There’s so much to write about tonight, and I don’t know where to start. The weekend was a tiny bit bittersweet, but oh-so-wonderful. It felt like Time was on my side; there was time to do everything. Time to walk in the rain, exploring the wide, crowded streets of Auckland city – mad intersections and all. Time to eat cake with the sweet Marie, talking about life, words, travel and food. Time to sit and share stories and tasty tapas with Ian. Time to erupt into howling laughter with Mandy, countless times, clutching at my sides in a futile bid to curb the stitches. Time to sit in Tim’s car with my eyes closed as 4 of us rolled down country roads, listening to languid lullabies. Time to make new acquaintances through my friends. Time to eat. Time to sit on a roadside bench and sing stupid songs with Ian. Time to glare at Mandy’s ugly cat (sorry Mandy).

You see? It was wonderful. The bittersweet I mentioned above – touched the tip of my tongue the night we sat at Spago eating dessert. We laughed lots, and the dessert was delightful, as was our friendly waitress. My peach & almond tart with sorbet was as sweet as a kiss:

However, a curious, delicate sadness did arise too, as I looked at my friends’ beautiful faces and reflected on how much we’ve changed over the years. Yes, our friendship has deepened; yes, we have more shared memories between us; but time, while generous and nurturing, takes away other things. We’ve all been through our share of struggles. And no longer will we have the amount of energy and time we had in university to go on midnight missions to the supermarket or on spontaneous drives; we don’t even live in the same city anymore. In a few years, we may all have busier jobs, relationships, and who knows what – kids? – it was clear to me that I should cherish this weekend with them for it may be awhile before we got to do this again.

Oh, I know it is pointless to dwell on change – for it is inevitable – but I am still learning to cope with it and use these moments of sadness to remind myself to cherish my relationships and the time I have with people.

One of the best things we did over the weekend was to make a trip to Ciao Bella yesterday afternoon – as we stepped into the warm, rustic and charming place, my heart did a smiley somersault.

I had some vanilla & almond tea and a warmed orzo salad with spicy chorizo, spinach, carrot & capsicum – too good. I felt like a happy cat who’d just been presented with a huge dish of cream!

The others had Turkish bread, brownie, carrot cake and other hot drinks… a very satisfying late lunch.

The icing on the cake was the restful view before our eyes. Mmmm, relaxation!

I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but we ate so much over the weekend! Without shocking you with the entire list of the places we went to, here are some recommendations:

Tasca – try the green beans slow cooked in olive oil with onion & tomato, served with crusty bread; the luscious bowl of vegetables; and comforting Spanish tortilla (all from the Tapas menu).

Mezze – don’t deprive yourself of their heavenly orange & almond cake (GF, DF) or hearty lentil & tomato soup with country bread.

Rosehip Cafe is wonderful for both their service and their food, and is especially super on a sunny day with their outdoor seating.

Also, if you are up in Auckland now, you might want to check out the “Kai to Pie” exhibition at Auckland Museum – it’s free to enter, and pretty interesting!

Lastly, thank you Roz & the Lunchbox Team. I’m still quite shocked that I won the Rick Stein blogging competition (competition entry here)… my goodness!?!? Very pleased and excited though about going to Rick Stein’s show soon!! (Don’t miss it – 4 & 5 August in Auckland, 7 & 8 August in Wellington).

With this, I should say goodnight. I’m so sleepy I’m actually falling off the couch now… have a great day,
Mel