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The wry, perceptive and brilliantly evocative memoir of one of Britain’s best-loved cooks

‘All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why’

Rick Stein's childhood in 1950s rural Oxfordshire and North Cornwall was idyllic. His parents were charming and gregarious, their five children much-loved and given freedom typical of the time. As he grew older, the holidays were filled with loud and lively parties in his parents' Cornish barn. But ever-present was the unpredicatible mood of his bipolar father, with Rick frequently the focus of his anger and sadness.

When Rick was 18 his father killed himself. Emotionally adrift, Rick left for Australia, carrying a suitcase stamped with his father's initials. Manual labour in the outback followed by adventures in America and Mexico toughened up the naive public schoolboy, but at heart he was still lost and unsure what to do with his life.

Eventually, Cornwall called him home. From the entrepreneurial days of his mobile disco, the Purple Tiger, to his first, unlikely unlikely nightclub where much of the time was spent breaking up drink-fuelled fights, Rick charts his personal journey in a way that is both wry and perceptive; engaging and witty.

Shortlisted for the Specsavers National Book Awards 2013

Reviews

Stein’s brilliant memoir traces his halcyon days spent in Australia, culminating on his home turf, Cornwall.

The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Telegraph

Dealing with his father's suicide by heading for the outback, catching a freighter from New Zealand to New York, running a nightclub: Stein has plenty to talk about before he gets to fish restaurants in Padstow and becoming a fixture of food TV. His fine autobiography never shies away from that defining tragedy and how it rippled through his life, even revealing his sudden need, last summer, to swim to the Cornish cliffs where his dad died.

Allan Jenkins and Gareth Grundy, The Observer Food Monthly

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780091949914

    September 1, 2014

    Ebury Press

    320 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

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    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Trade Paperback

    9780091957018

    October 1, 2013

    Ebury Press

    384 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781448147243

    September 12, 2013

    Ebury Digital

    320 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
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    • Google Play
    • Kobo