Rick Stein, the British chef, who’s perhaps best known for his TV shows, cookery books and restaurants in the Cornish coastal village of Padstow – nicknamed “Padstein” due to his impact and success in the town. However, one lesser known and wholly unremarkable fact is that Rick, a descendent of a German brewing dynasty, like me, also used to own a Citroën 2CV.
During his early career he worked at a variety of locations in France and clearly loves the country, the food and the iconic Citroen 2CV.
Last night the BBC re-ran the first episode of his May 2016 series called “Long Weekends” in which Rick visited Bordeaux. As usual, his presentation is excellent, including cut backs to his Cornish home that see him repeat the recipes – the Moules marinière looked great – learned in French regional capital at some fine restaurants including the eponymous “La Entrecôte”. You cannot help but warm to his passion for food with his confession that he believes he is as much an enthusiastic eater as an accomplished chef!
The best supporting role in this engaging film is the mid-blue Citroën 2CV – “hire car” – that hurtles the driver – an initially less confident Rick Stein who struggles to remember the configuration of the challenging umbrella handled gearstick – around the backstreets of Bordeaux. Further afield, after hurtling down country roads, he arrives in the the famed coastal town of Arcachon with its beautiful dunes and beach to sample equally renowned oysters from the shell.
The Citroën 2CV contributes more to this episode of the Long Weekend than could have been imagined buy the production team, its timeless quirkiness, its essential Frenchness combined perfectly with Rick’s egalitarian ‘Man of the People’/simplistic approach.
For those who love these beautiful cars just as much a I do please see our earlier review:https://aestheticons.wordpress.com/2016/12/12/citroen-2cv/
For those who have access to the BBC player service the show can be seen here. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b078dj4
For those who may be thinking it might be fun to rent a 2CV in western France I have located – but have not tested – the following: