Guest chef

As he pre­pares to open his sec­ond Aus­tralian restau­rant, at Port Stephens north of Syd­ney, Rick Stein shares his cook­ing ethos and gives us a taste of what guests can ex­pect. It’s the best of sum­mer eat­ing on a plate!


Seafood and more from Rick Stein’s new Aus­tralian open­ing.

GOOD FOOD NEEDN’T be com­pli­cated. It’s the un­der­ly­ing premise of ev­ery­thing Rick Stein puts on the plate, and the re­sults are a sheer joy to eat.

That belief has been the driv­ing force be­hind his Aus­tralian restau­rant, Rick Stein at Ban­nis­ters, in Mol­ly­mook for the past nine years, where he has cel­e­brated best-in-class Aussie seafood. Now he’s do­ing the same a few hours north of Syd­ney at a new Port Stephens out­post of the same name. “The menu is driven by what qual­ity produce we get ac­cess to on any given day,” says Stein. “Not only is Port Stephens beau­ti­ful, with all its amaz­ing in­lets, it’s got some of the best seafood in the world.”

With glo­ri­ous op­tions such as king­fish, pink ling, flat­head, prawns or mus­sels, the aim of any good cook, says Stein, is to try to keep it as sim­ple as pos­si­ble and let the produce re­veal its true na­ture.

“As far as I’m con­cerned, I find it dif­fi­cult cook­ing seafood, but it’s also so in­cred­i­bly won­der­ful. And know­ing ex­actly what you should do is the great chal­lenge. The Ja­panese have al­ways been thought­ful and in­tel­lec­tual about cook­ing, and in­cred­i­bly keen on sim­plic­ity. That’s where I’m al­ways look­ing. I al­ways tell my­self – ‘keep it sim­ple, stupid’,” he laughs.

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