By Kelly Wickham
Budding chefs and cookery fans braved torrential wind and rain on Saturday to meet popular chef, Rick Stein.
It is almost 20 years since Rick Stein’s last great French food adventure and the publication of his bestselling classic, Rick Stein’s French Odyssey.
This autumn, Rick returns to his beloved France to discover real French cooking, distilled into this collection of 120 brand-new delicious recipes.
Rick Stein’s Secret France has been published to accompany a major new six-part BBC Two TV series.
Fans rushed to Waterstones in West Street to join a long queue to have their copies of Rick’s new book signed and get a selfie.
Gregory Richardson, who attends the University of Chichester, got a signed copy for his mum.
He said: “This book is for my mum for Christmas. We came to Waterstones during my reading week and my mum saw the sign so she asked me if I could get her a copy for Christmas as she lives abroad.
“It is a wet and windy day but I made the effort because my mum really likes Rick Stein. I am really happy to be here today and my mum is going to be so happy.”
In Secret France, Rick goes off-road through hidden towns and sleepy villages to discover the true heart of the country that has had the biggest influence on his cooking.
Were his memories of French food just a state of mind?
Rick said: “I owe my love of food and restaurants to early trips to Brittany, getting off the ferry from Plymouth in Roscoff and driving in spring through fields of artichokes to Le Conquet near Brest, a fishing village famous for its crabs.
“A cold clear breeze in April with a smell of seaweed on it and then a first plateau de fruits de mer cockles, clams, mussels and oysters all somehow repeating that fragrant coldness.
“I remember a plate of tiny scallops called pétoncles in the village of Plougastel. They were grilled in the shell with just a little salty Brittany butter left to go brown under the heat and sprinkled with lemon juice and parsley. The produce was exquisite and stays with me not only because France was the first place that I really began to understand the enormous power of great produce and
cooking to change my life, but second because I was in love with the country.”
Rick Stein’s Secret France is on Tuesday’s at 9pm on BBC2 and his book is available to purchase now.