Rick cooks up a storm at cathedral

TV masterchef Rick Stein cooked three fish dishes under the Octagon Tower at Ely Cathedral in front of a packed audience on Wednesday night.

It was what proved to be a masterclass in how to combine a book signing with local culture and halt cuisine. The event was organised by Topping & Co Bookshop in Ely to celebrate Stein’s latest book, Rick Stein’s Spain.

Stein told the audience he had been keen to write about the food of Spain for some time because it had formed such an important part of his life. One of his early childhood memories is being taken on holiday to Spain by his parents and ordering squid. He says he still remembers the sweet flavour and the iodine smell of the dish and has been intrigued by the country and its cuisine ever since. His new book is packed with 140 dishes, but what makes this book so interesting is that Stein went off the beaten track to find some hidden away restaurants down back streets and tiny villages to explore the real nature of Spanish food and the people cooking it.

He said: “If you want to find the best food in Spain you often have to go off the beaten track and not to the pretties parts.”

Paul ???/ of Toppings said the event had been a huge success.

“Work doesn’t get much better than watching Rick Stein cook three fish dishes from his latest collection, Rick Stein’s Spain, to a packed audience under the Octagon Tower at Ely Cathedral.

Rick is just as charming off camera as he is on, he is an unfailingly genial chef, who wears his great authority and considerable ability with a twinkle in his eye.”

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INFO: Rick Stein’s Spain is on sale at Topping & Co Bookshop in High Street, Ely. Look out for details of future Toppings events in the Ely Standard.