Rick Stein’s Cornish Christ­mas

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Sun­day, 8.30pm, Life­Style Food Look out, here comes Christ­mas pro­gram­ming. This one-hour spe­cial was shown last year on the ABC on De­cem­ber 17. This year it plays on Life­Style Food two and a bit weeks ear­lier, a har­bin­ger of the coming on­slaught, per­haps, or a warn­ing shot over the para­pet. Set in Cornwall on the English south coast, the pro­gram features the un­flap­pable Rick Stein on his own turf. He lives in the area and is unashamedly sen­ti­men­tal about the ef­fect of Christ­mas on his com­mu­nity. ‘‘ I think we all feel that Christ­mas is a time to tighten the fab­ric that keeps the com­mu­nity to­gether,’’ Stein says, by way of in­tro­duc­tion. Next he is stand­ing among the good ci­ti­zens of Pad­stow, his home town, over­look­ing the water as a lo­cal brass band plays Silent Night into the twi­light. Later in the pro­gram, the chef is joined by friends for a lunch that high­lights the culi­nary trea­sures of Cornwall. All the dishes are made with Stein’s favourite in­gre­di­ents, grown or caught in the county, and they look su­perb. There is also a cli­mac­tic ban­quet, vis­i­bly draped in Cornish Christ­mas spirit. real preda­tor here, a Ben­gal tiger, or per­haps an am­bush of them. In his ef­fort to drama­tise the hunt, Terry is the re­cip­i­ent of my in­au­gu­ral Bette Davis award for the best over­ac­tor in a fac­tual pro­gram or doc­u­men­tary.

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