I came across Rick Stein a few years back. From what I understand, he was one of the early television chefs in Britain, but I don’t think his shows were ever broadcasted in Canada. His latest food programmes are based around travel, taking a barge through France or searching for his favourite curry in India for example, and he’s a bit of a book nerd. He’ll read passages from travelogues, poetry, and related literature for the camera when he arrives somewhere new. It’s a book-worm, foodie, and traveler’s delight.
So imagine my surprise when the majority of this memoir is about, well, banging ladies. From the girl who first saw his penis as a youth, the prostitute with bad body odor he picked up in London, to his first and second wife. I understand that relationships are a large part of one’s life, but my god – what a horndog.
He’s led quite an interesting life, so it’s not like he had to pad the book with his sexual escapades. As a teenager, his bipolar father took his own life, and as a way to cope he left home to work and travel his way through Australia, the States, and Mexico, before returning to England to attend Oxford. After university, he opened a seedy club that he eventually converted to a restaurant in an attempt to pay the rent, which is where his career with food began.
I really enjoyed this, although I do wish it had focused a bit more on food. His narration works well, and he can really tell a story. He does a terrific job of describing the people and places in his life. I’d love it if he started writing travelogues at some point. I still haven’t read any of his cookbooks, so that’s probably my next step.