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A la Colthard/Rick Stein

Many years ago when Daffers was in “I-like-a-bit-of-rough” mode I knew an ex-boxer in Rock, Cornwall who sold his night club to a certain Rick Stein.

He opened the Seafood Restaurant there and the rest is history. You could sit quayside and enjoy fresh fish caught that day and divine apple pancakes. Here is a restauranteur going places … and boy, did he do so.

Last night I watched Rick Stein’s Secret France on BBC 2 – Rick Stein’s gastronomic trip through France.

Last night’s programme featured Provence.

It brought back many happy memories of a National Rust trip there for a wine tasting long weekend in September 2020 in the good not-so-old days  when you could travel freely.

Provence became over anglicised because of Peter Mayle but one forgets that it has a coastline.

Marseilles, with all its character – good and bad, and the delightful seaside towns like Cassis and Sanary are nearby.

Fish is therefore plentiful and Rick either cooked or enjoyed salted cod mash – sounds better in French “brandade au morue” – and a pistou soup.

I have never been a Bouillabaisse fan though.

People may not know that its stock is the slops of discarded fish-bones, heads etc discarded by the fishermen.

Like the Italian dish piacetta – a peasant dish originally – it somehow becomes an expensive menu item.

About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts