Meet Nick, our head chef lecturer at Rick Stein's Cookery School in Padstow
Nick is our head chef lecturer at Rick Stein’s Cookery School and what he doesn’t know about fish isn’t worth knowing. Nick grew up in East Sussex with his family and from a young age worked the land around their home with his brother and father growing everything from potatoes to a small vineyard. His father’s job working on set for films sent him travelling all over the world which introduced new flavours in to their home cooking from India and Thailand.
It was fate that brought Nick to work in kitchens, covering for his brother as a kitchen porter when he fell ill. Nick never looked back. During a gap year working in a local restaurant, Nick also took part in the Tall Ship race to Bermuda, cooking on board for the crew. After this he followed his passion for the kitchen and hospitality to Oxford Brookes. Whilst studying for a degree in hospitality, Nick also worked in the kitchens at the university where he learnt speed in the kitchen and his love of the kitchen comradery and environment continued to grow.
As part of his 4 year degree, Nick worked a year in industry in 2001 at a variety of Rick Stein businesses including their production unit in Padstow. In those twelve months Nick learnt a great deal from French classical cooking under Stephane Delourme at The Seafood Restaurant, to Indian and Asian styles under Mark Puckey at Stein’s Deli.
In 2004 after completing his degree, Nick retuned to the company working at the production unit with Mark Puckey, taking over the managerial role there when Mark became head chef lecturer at Padstow Seafood School.
Keen to get back into a working kitchen, Nick returned to The Seafood Restaurant as chef de partie in 2007. Over the next 6 years, Nick worked his way up to senior sous chef at the restaurant learning from Stephane Delourme and inspiration he took from a two week stage in Paris at La Régalade.
In January 2014 Nick became head chef at St. Petroc’s Bistro where he is enjoying working with the Mediterranean menu that specialises in steaks after so many years working with fish.
In summer 2016, Nick took over the role of Head Chef Lecturer at our cookery school in Padstow – a position he was born to do. There he leads a small team who deliver memorable cookery experiences for guests, who leave having learned the secrets behind how to cook some of Rick’s classic dishes. As part of this role, he also hosting evening events and supper clubs.
In 2019, Nick’s passion for sustainability and looking after our planet saw him help set up our ‘Green Team’. They come together every month to discuss how, as a business, we can improve our processes – including reducing single use plastics and inspiring our teams to take part in local beach cleans.
Nick lives in Wadebridge with his wife and children, where he enjoys cooking at home for his family.