We’re very excited for Rick to be back on the BBC with his new series, Rick Stein’s Cornwall – sharing food and drink heroes, art, culture and history from around the county with new recipes to recreate at home too. Rick says:
Cornwall is different to anywhere else in the world. Crossing the Tamar for our holidays to Cornwall from Devon was like going into another country and in the car on our way to Padstow we were driving through an enchanted land, capped for my sister and me by seeing the sea at Trevose Head for the first time. Now, after so many years of living here, it still does feel different. I want to try and explain that difference, to tell you what Cornwall means to me.
Scroll down to read our full Rick Stein’s Cornwall episode guides.
Begins at Polventon House, Rick’s childhood holiday home that his father and uncle built on Trevose Head – a few miles south of Padstow. This is where Rick’s love story with Cornwall started, as far back at 1947. Here, Rick shares stories of growing up and the dishes his mother and father would cook – including fish cakes, grilled mackerel and fresh lobster from Mother Ivey’s Bay.
Rick then heads to the far south west and Cape Cornwall to meet one of Cornwall’s most famous artists, mixed media painter Kurt Jackson. The moving landscape of West Penwith has inspired so many British artists including Barbara Hepworth and Kurt himself. They wander down through the Kenidjack Valley, a is a place that’s steeped in mining history, glorious flora and fauna and the location of Kurt’s latest project.
At Tresillian House, near Newquay, Rick meets with the rather lovely Head Gardener, John Harris – who has the best Cornish accent you’re ever likely to hear. John, who’s been Head Gardener at Tresillian House since 1984 walks Rick through his apple orchard which is full of ancient Cornish varieties including aromatic, pear apple and gillyflower. The orchard was planted in 1991 to help protect as many old varieties of apples from around the county as possible. In Rick’s words, ‘Good cookers and good eaters galore’.
Recipes in episode 1 include Apple Charlotte. Cooking alfresco in the garden at Tresillian House, Rick follows his mother’s recipe for this simple dessert which celebrates John’s wonderful Cornish apples. Best served with lashings of custard after a main course of roast beef – Sunday memories for Rick.
Rick’s Cornish adventure continues on the south coast at Looe with Giel Spiering, Founder and Producer of the award winning Cornish Gouda Company. At just 19 years old, Giel founded the Cornish Gouda Company and produces the cheese by hand using traditional techniques learnt in Holland.
Still on the south coast, next up is the picturesque harbour setting of Mevagissey (Cornwall’s second largest fishing ports), where Rick meets with Jeremy Blackmore from The Fish Grill & More. A humble fish van that only serves the freshest local seafood – including Cornish sardines (also known as pilchards), scallops, mackerel and pollock, so Rick had to sample of few delicious morsels whilst chatting to Jeremy about the area and the fishing heritage of the village. All the fish was simply cooked to Rick’s liking with a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
This is followed by the smoothing sounds of the Stuns’ls Sea Shanty Group singing live from Mevagissey Harbour, including Cornwall my home, Nelson’s Blood and Drunken Sailor. They’re are a small shanty group, who sing to have fun and keep the heritage of sea shanties alive. Very pleasing indeed.
Recipes in episode 2 include a celebration of Giel’s fantastic cheese – Cornish Gouda quesadillas with caramelised apple and onion and a pico de gallo salsa. Delish!
This episode begins in the north of county near Launceston at Tom Adams’ much-loved Coombeshead Farm. Set in 60 acres of meadows, the farm specialises in high quality seasonal produce and provisions, including Coombeshead Bakery which is tucked away in a converted barn. Rick loves sourdough and personally choose Coombeshead to supply our restaurants, so he had to chat with Head Baker, Ben Gazer about the secrets behind the perfect loaf.
Then, at the other end of the county, Rick explores the town of Penzance. First stop, the top of the high street where a state of chemist Humphry Davy can be found. The Davy lamp allowed miners to work in the presence of flammable gases without the risk of explosion and saved countless lives. After a short wander, Rick popped into the famous Admiral Benbow pub. The cosy interior of the pub houses a vast collection of maritime artefacts rescued from numerous shipwrecked vessels which foundered on the Cornish coast over the last 400 years. Famous visitors to the pub include the Rolling Stones and Madness.
Nothing says summer in Cornwall like cooking on the beach. For his final stop of the show, Rick is at Rock Beach for a special clambake with Jack Stein, Ross Geach from Padstow Kitchen Garden, Andrew Tuck, Source Cocktails and many others. On the feasting menu: Padstow lobster and crab from Murt’s Shellfish, oysters, clams and mussels from Porthilly Shellfish and local slaw from Padstow Kitchen Garden.
Recipes in episode 3 celebrate Rick’s visit to Coombeshead Farm – including pork chops with Savoy cabbage and sloes, plus sourdough and pork pies.
Cold water swimming is a passion of Rick’s and so, episode four begins with him showing you where he loves to swim most days (regardless of the water temperature) – the Camel Estuary.
Staying local to Padstow, Rick nips across the water to the small cove of Porthilly to see Tim Marshall at Porthilly Shellfish – who have supplied our restaurants in Cornwall and beyond for many years no. If you’ve ordered oysters when dining with us you’ve probably enjoyed some of Porthilly’s finest. As well as the oyster beds, Tim and his family grow mussels and clams too, which are delightfully sweet.
Next up is a bit of Cornish history at Launceston Castle. Now protected by English Heritage, it was once the administrative headquarters for the Earl of Cornwall – a significant location where control could be kept over the various estates in the area.
During his time in Launceston, Rick also visited St Mary Madelene Church – one of the most impressive and beautiful late medieval churches in Cornwall. It features superb carved detail on the exterior and a wealth of historic memorials and woodwork inside.
Recipes in episode 4 both celebrate the freshest Cornish shellfish from Porthilly Shellfish – moules marinière and Porthilly oysters.
No series about Cornwall would be complete without heading out on the water to catch from crab. Episode 5 starts with Rick and Padstow fishing legend, Johnny Murt from Murt’s Shellfish, heading along the Camel Estuary in search of the best catch. Johnny and his family have supplied our restaurants in Padstow for many years and jolly good it is too.
In between St Ives and Land’s End, Rick and his good friend Barry Humphries head out for a walk at Zennor Head. A very special stretch of National Trust coast close to the village of Zennor where The Gurnard’s Head and Tinner’s Arms are must visits.
Back on home turf nearer Padstow, Rick and Barry visit the rather lovely St Enodoc Church at Trebetherick. Famed for being a place that Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman loved greatly and is now buried in the grounds and its views out over Daymer Bay.
As you’ll know from watching episode 4, Rick loves cold water swimming, so he had to meet up with the Bluetits swimming club at Perranporth Beach during the series. The Bluetits are a national community that thrive on: ‘Year-round open water swimming with an emphasis on experiencing the thrill of skin swimming.’
Recipes in episode 5 include Padstow crab omelette and salmon fish cakes.
Episode 6 begins with a visit to the wonderful Camel Valley Vineyard to chat to winemaker Sam Lindo – son of Bob and Annie who founded the vineyard in 1989 – and lend a hand with the harvest. The vineyard is tucked away in the countryside between Wadebridge and Bodmin and we’re proud to have listed their Cornish sparkling wines for over 20 years – with the standout bottle being their Pinot Noir Rosé Brut. Rick also celebrated the Lindo’s during his 2004 Food Heroes Series.
After a sip or two of Camel Valley’s finest, it’s fishing time for Rick in Padstow with our very own fishmonger, Flea Thompson. Padstow born and bred, Flea has spent all of his life fishing along the Camel Estuary – often returning to shore with sea bass and mackerel aplenty. They stop off at a private cove for an alfresco lunch of BBQ mackerel.
Finally, Rick takes a journey to the south coast and the much-loved, Lost Gardens of Heligan to catch up with Tim Smit – Co-Founder of The Eden Project who also jointly discovered, restored and has written a book about the Lost Garden of Heligan, near Mevagissey. He’s passionate about connecting people to the natural world and shares his views about Cornwall with Rick during an interesting wander around the gardens.
Recipes in episode 6 include BBQ Cornish mackerel recheado.
Episode 8 starts in the north coast fishing village of Port Isaac. Rick meets local crab and lobster fishermen Callum Greenhalgh on his boat Mary D. Callum’s family run Fresh from the Sea – a great little fish shop in the heart of the village that celebrates all things seafood like crab sandwiches, lobster salad, oysters, mussels and more.
Whilst in Port Isaac, Rick catches up with old friend, and former chef at The Seafood Restaurant, Nathan Outlaw – who has two Michelin starred restaurants in the village. His ethos is very similar to Rick’s, source the freshest, local seafood and cook in simply. On the menu is lobster risotto using a rich lobster stock that Rick helps to prepare.
Back across the Camel Estuary, Rick visits another former chef from our restaurants and current produce supplier, Ross Geach from Padstow Kitchen Garden, Trerethern Farm. Located about a mile from The Seafood Restaurant, Ross grows some of the best vegetables in the country including broccoli, salad leaves, padron peppers, carrots and kalettes.
Recipes in episode 8 include lobster risotto with Nathan Outlaw and Cornish briam – a take on a popular Greek dish of roasted vegetables.
Join Rick for a trip on the world’s busiest chain ferry that links Cornwall and Devon across the Tamar River – on the Torpoint ferry Rick chats to ferry controller Mike Bright. Following this short journey, he explores Torpoint, a town on Cornwall’s Rame peninsula, with historian Harry Bennett.
Now for a real highlight of the series, Rick visits the mystical woodland setting of Golitha Falls, near Liskeard, to find the spectacular cascades and waterfalls. Whilst here he also chats to the very lovely Dawn French about all things Cornwall, including why she’s made it her home.
Rick then heads down to the south coast to visit Seth Pascoe at Cornish Seaberry Co to learn how and where his produce grows. As well as being great to cook with, Cornish Seaberry have partnered with Cornish drinks companies Colwith Farm Distillery and Driftwood Spars Brewery to create vodka and beer flavoured by their berries.
For the cooking scene in this episode, Rick is back in the garden at Tresillian House to show you a recipe that celebrates produce from Seaberry farm.
Recipes in episode 9 include duck breast with sea buckthorn berries, chilli and ginger. Served with wok fried greens.
Rick heads into the bowels of Cornwall with author Philip Marsden, deep into the China Clay pits, to discover what is known locally as White Gold, one of this county’s most important industries.
He then climbs the Cornish Alps, huge slag heaps created by the clay mining and some of Cornwall’s highest land.
After a wild swim with Shonna Hands at one of Cornwall’s picturesque hidden coves, Polridmouth, Rick cooks a simple recipe for BBQ sea bass with a fennel mayonnaise – telling you how to make the perfect homemade mayonnaise in the process.
In the far west of the county, on the Land’s End peninsula, Rick introduces us to his niece, Lucy Stein, a modern artist who explains her deep spiritual connection to Cornwall – including a wander at Boscawen-un stone circle close to St Buryan.
Recipes in episode 10 include whole BBQ seabass with a fennel mayonnaise and poached pears with blackberries.
In this episode of Rick Stein’s Cornwall you will explore the world-famous Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden in St Ives with artist Anthony Frost – noted for his abstract works consisting of brightly coloured prints and collages. Fish for red mullet on the Lizard with fishermen, Danny and Tommy Phillips – two wonderfully Cornish gents from Cadgwith Cove which is located in a must-visit spot on the south coast. Then you’ll meet Sophie Alexander and Stephen Holloway at Source Kitchen in St Ives to chat about their artisan produce and hyper seasonal dishes. Finally, travel further down west to the tiny village of Porthgwarra to meet RSPB Chough expert, Paul St Pierre.
Recipes in episode 11 include red mullet on confit potatoes with black olive tapenade – cooked at Source Kitchen.
Rick Stein’s Cornwall episode 12 guide:
In episode 12 of Rick Stein’s Cornwall, you’ll visit quite possibly the prettiest church in the world, St Just-In-Roseland Church. Explore the waterside haven of St Mawes by foot and water with Alex and Olga Polizzi from Hotel Tresanton as well as meeting chef Paul Wadham. Then it’s up to Launceston to be introduced to some of the best meat in the country at our Cornish butcher, Ian Warren from Warrens Butchers. Their steaks are simply fab. Rick then explores potter Jack Doherty’s studio in Penzance before returning to Padstow to listen to Dave Brown and St Merryn Ukes – a rather good local ukulele band.
Recipes in episode 12 include steak with béarnaise sauce to celebrate meat from Cusgarne Farm.
– Join Rick to explore Tintagel, Cornwall’s most mystical place, with historian, Marion Gibson – Visit Camborne Centenary Church – Find out about CPR FoodBank, also in Camborne – Meet Brian and Margaret from the Cornish Saffron Co, located on Roseland
Recipes in episode 13 include the very Cornish, saffron buns.
As Rick’s Cornish odyssey nears its end, he takes a break in the city of Truro, where he discovers an unusual ghost story and tours the magnificent cathedral with friend Daphne Skinnard. He also meets a family passionate about offal, who prepare him a meal of pickled ox tongue and beef heart tacos, and in the county’s most northerly parish, on a wander to Hawker’s Hut, he tells the story of an eccentric vicar who would retrieve the bodies from nearby shipwrecks and bury them in his church graveyard.
Make travel plans inspired by Rick Stein’s Cornwall TV adventures
There are so many reasons why Cornwall should be top of your staycation list for 2021. Beautiful beaches like Sennen in the west and Constantine on the north coast, restaurants and food lovers’ hotspots galore, places to explore as a family like The Lost Gardens of Heligan and places to explore as a couple like the art galleries in St Ives. Read our blogs below and plan your dream Cornish break itinerary: