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Rick Stein: Food Heroes

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Hi -

Just caught a BBC show called Rick Stein's Food Heroes. He is a chef who roams around England looking at artisinal products and then prepaes them. Really nice production values and a lot more interesting than most of the FNTV-type shows.

Anyone else seen it?


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  1. yep, just watched the whole series a few weeks ago...everything is shot beautifully and looks delicious

    1. I've been watching it on BBCAmerica. Wiki tells about a nasty divorce... but, I'm intrigued that in multiple cooking shots, there is a Phil Silvers/Sgt. Bilko pic in the background. Anybody know why?

      1. Years ago, he had a great cooking show that aired on PBS and he focused on cooking seafood. There is a companion cookbook, called "Rick Stein's Fruits of the Sea." One of the best parts of the show was his little dog Chalky. Great show. I'll look for the new BBC show--thanks for the tip!

        1 Reply
        1. re: dukegirl

          The seafood show was awsome, the man really knows his seafood.

        2. Why can't FN put on good smart, quality shows like this?

          4 Replies
          1. re: Withnail42


            I would not think it would be very hard to go out and get a few more.

            Marcel Biro's show on PBS is good, as is Charlie Trotter's TV series.

            Toss in some2 Fat Ladies Re-runs, and you could really make a good line up.

            I wonder if it is a cost issue for them (better chefs need more $$) or a demographic thing: They want happy, bubbly, but not overtalented chefs' shows.

            I would rather watch Tom Colicchio cook than judge.

            1. re: Westy

              Well one reason is that the BBC is publicly funded so part of their mission is to put on educational, not just entertaining shows. And they are not afraid to put on shows that only target smaller, specific demographics... that's why their programming ranges from darts and sheep herding to history and classic arts to soap operas like East Enders. A huge range.

              I think one of their best shows on BBC America right now is Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares, which should be required viewing for anyone wanting to open a restaurant. It's entertaining, educational, and while he's often tough, it couldn;t be more different than Hell's Kitchen, which has little to do with food and everything to do with meltdowns and yelling!

              1. re: Withnail42

                I agree completely and I'm sure most fans are not in the sheep herding business. That's what I like about Brit TV - they'll experiement with themes, no matter how small the potential audience. Can you imagine pitching this show concept to a major network: We want to take 2 older, unfit ladies, stick them on a motorcycle with sidecar, and send them around the country where they'll make fat-drenched dishes while getting sauced up on wine and ciggies.

            2. re: Withnail42

              They, for the sake of advertisting dollars, play to the lowest common denominator. They don't care about quality, just quantity, the more non-discrminating viewers they attract, the more dollars they can charge for ad time.

            3. I absolutely LOVE this show. Watched his earlier ..."Fruits of the Sea" when it was on PBS and was hooked. Here's a link to his web site:

              He's quite prolific...having written 11 cookbooks, organized 10 TV series, and "runs four restaurants, a delicatessen, a patisserie, a seafood cookery school and a thirty three bedroom hotel in the small fishing port of Padstow on the north coast of Cornwall."
              Poor little Chalky, his intrepid Jack Russell terrier, died in January of this year.

              1. I was able to catch Rick Stien's show where he is cooking for the Japanese ambassador. What a really interesting show. Fascinating look into Japanese cooking. Well done to Stien for admitting his lack of knowledge on the subject and not coming off as a know it all and taking the the viewer through his learning curve.


                1 Reply
                1. re: Withnail42

                  In my opinion Rick Stein is one of The Most genuine personalities on TV. He does not fake anything.

                2. All the Rick Stein cooking shows are really well-made, and unlike some of them you can actually go away and make the dishes afterwards because he tells you exactly what you need to know, in simple enough terms that you can remember it afterwards! (but then, most BBC cooking shows seem to be more informative than the Food Network!)

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Kajikit

                    Interesting observation. I think you have a real point. I would say even Jamie Oliver fits into that category - very user friendly. A second observation: Their kitchens actually sort of resembele real kitchens as opposed to sets. Stein's in particular (well, not everyone has an Aga cooker kicking around).

                    1. re: Westy

                      I absolutely agree with both of you; I favor BBCA over FN anytime. In fact, when Jamie Oliver moved to a new flat the film crew went right along with him and as the movers were doing their thing, he was busy cooking lunch for them....a fabulous looking huge steak and vegetable sandwich.

                    2. re: Kajikit

                      Just this past saturday, I made his Lamb Curry. He explained it so well, it was a pleasure to recreate. Took me 30 minutes after mise en place. I find that he provides a novel way to thread a story to his demonstration to my belly.

                    3. I enjoyed the show, loved the concept, and his enthusiasm. He obviously also knows how to cook (something more than a few FN cooks do not). But I was put off by his all too frequent snide remarks about America and American food.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: mhschow

                        Really? I have seen quite a few of his shows and have not run across many such references at all. I have noticed he criticizes England/UK (mostly for restricting selection of food like slat marsh lamb, etc), but very few, if any, references to the US.

                        1. re: mhschow

                          I have discovered this show recently and concur that it is a great watch. I know I've seen him before (where?).

                          mhschow: I wouldn't be put off. He might not have discovered chowhound.com :-). Remember, we food conscious folks are a (possibly oppressed) minority. Most food in America is manufactured and marketed as Bubba Fuel.

                          1. re: mhschow

                            I like the show, and him, a lot, but he definitely does have a lot of anti-american comments (even on silly things like pronunciation).

                          2. Rick Stein is probably one of the most endearing and genuine chefs I recall seeing on the various PBS food shows over the past couple of decades. He used to have a show called, "Fruits of the Sea," or something to that effect, and I'd swear I could smell and taste the food as he cooked it, as well as felt as though I'd known this man since childhood.

                            I'm without cable or satellite so all this speak about FNTV gets me sad, but I hope to view vicariously through you folks!

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: bulavinaka

                              Don't despair, you are not missing much on FoodTV, most of it is dreck.

                              1. re: ChinoWayne

                                bulavinaka: if you can get an off-air digital TV decoder, Create TV (KLCS in SoCal) will make you much happier. Haven't seen a Stein re-run there yet though.

                                CW, please don't insult Dreck by association.
                                Or to paraphrase Firesign Theater
                                "...but it's really Great Dreck, Mrs. Presky!"

                              2. re: bulavinaka

                                We had a couple of years of Rick here in Colombia (on a cable channel). He's a really great cook. A real sense for ingredients, flavors, technique,... Our problem is that we get a lot of such shows dubbed rather than sub-titled. Dubbed shows don't allow the person's personality to come through.

                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                  Hey Sam the Man, your sentiments are exactly mine as well. I wish dubbing was banned... It reminds me of the old Godzilla or Hong Kong Kung Fu flicks - disjointed, flat, and comedic in a bad way...

                              3. Hi Matt I am just watching a re run of the show FOOD HEROS North East England It is the show where he makes the now famous LAMB & SPINACH CURRY from the KARACHI Restaurant if you want the recipe try this adapted version of the one that is also on www.stonefisk.com/Rick Steins Lamb & Spinach ,,,www.toastedspecial.com/rickstein/lamb... is also known as BRADFORD CURRY

                                3 Replies
                                  1. re: Gio

                                    Hi Gio, are there more food programs on BBCA? We finally got it (and most of what I see on the lineup is on the Dr. No / Star Wars-ish side).

                                  2. re: KrystynaCooks

                                    Don't know about the "Bradford Curry" (Bradford being about 45 minutes from here) - the recipe is a very decent saag gosht, though.

                                    Sag gosht is usually thought to be a Punjabi recipe. The sub-continent mix in the city is significantly Kashmiri and Gujerati - best known restaurants from each cuisine, respectively, being Mumtaz and Prashad.