16 July 1999

Fish restaurant wins MLC cash

ONE of the countrys most prestigious catering prizes, which was sponsored this year by the Meat and Livestock Commission, has been won by a fish restaurant.

Caterer and Hotelkeeper magazines 1999 Chef Award was given to TV celebrity chef Rick Stein, proprietor of the Seafood Restaurant, Padstow, Cornwall.

Judges said that Mr Stein, who is a self-taught expert on fish, stood out from other cooks as a "shining example of the craft of a chef" and "a true chefs chef".

Suggestions of embarrassment about the presentation of a British Meat-sponsored award to a chef so closely associated with seafood have, however, been dismissed by the MLC.

A spokesman said there were no regrets about sponsoring the event. "Rick Stein does own a fish restaurant but is known for a wide range of cooking as he will be demonstrating over the next year when he helps us promote British pork," he said.

MLCs sponsorship of Mr Steins prize, and its involvement in the awards dinner for about 900 eminent members of the catering industry at Londons Grosvenor House Hotel, is said to be worth around £20,000. &#42