‘Au revoir et bonne chance’ as Stephane Delourme hangs up his Rick Stein apron
Celebrity chef Rick Stein and Jill Stein have raised a glass of their Vin De Bourgogne as they bid farewell to their Group Chef Stephane Delourme who has announced his departure from Stein’s ahead of launching his own gastronomic adventure.
Delourme, who has worked for the Stein family, in his roles as Head Chef and Group Chef for 25 years, said it was time for him to hang up his apron in Padstow before he travels the world doing pop ups, private dining, sustainable consultancy and much more.
The 54-year-old father of three says although he has thoroughly enjoyed being Head Chef in The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow for 21 years, and the last four years as the Group Chef across the Stein family restaurants, it was time for him to further challenge his creativity by bringing his cooking closer to people, using world class ingredients, in a variety of locations across the world.
Paying tribute to Stephane at The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, Rick Stein said: “Quite apart from Stephane being a brilliant Head Chef at The Seafood Restaurant, I’ve had some tremendously rewarding experiences with him doing private dinner parties, pop ups, food festivals, sporting events and charity events. The reality has been I’ve never had to worry about any detail at any of these, Steph has always had them covered, whether it be ordering ingredients, organising staff and cooking the dishes exactly as I wanted them. He’s always been a totally safe pair of hands.
“The other reason Stephane has been so valuable, however, is that he’s an immensely engaging character who gets on with everyone, whether it be the management at somewhere like the Hurlingham Club or Ascot or very successful individuals who booked me for a phenomenally expensive charity prize to go and cook at their house.
“Stephane is just as at home in Downing Street as he is in the kitchen of The Seafood Restaurant, but above all I’ve always been somewhat in awe of him because of his impeccable training as a chef in France. I still regard the way they cook in France as the best.”
Also paying tribute to Stephane is Jill Stein who describes him as ‘a brilliant chef’ and ‘the face of The Seafood Restaurant.”
Jill Stein said: “Stephane really understands food and is a brilliant chef. He has been with us for many years and I never thought the day would come when we would be saying goodbye. We will miss him, but, I hope that he will come back and make an appearance every now and again like Padstow Christmas Festival and our 50th Anniversary celebrations. Stephane was the face of The Seafood Restaurant for so many years.
“I wish him all the luck in the world for his new venture. He knows we will always be there if he needs our help in the future. Stephane is a big part of our family business and always will be.”
Stephane, who hails from Brittany, and who has been inspired throughout his career by chefs such as Anthony Bourdain, Nieves Barragan, Gary Rhodes, Michel and Albert Roux, Raymond Blanc, Rick Stein, Martin Webb, Joël Robuchon, Gabriel Biscay and Auguste Escoffier, says it’s his job as a chef to make people feel special, to care for people and by giving people a big hug and putting smiles on their faces through his culinary creations.
Speaking about his departure from The Seafood Restaurant, he said: “Leading kitchen teams at Stein’s has been remarkable for me. I will of course miss mentoring these wonderful people and I will always admire Rick for his promotion of seafood, and his promotion of Cornwall to the world, but my time has come to say ‘au revoir et bonne chance’.
“Food is life. It’s about making memories with people we love and I know that beautiful food makes people smile so I want to create memories which will stay with people forever.”