Rick Stein: 'I just think we’re better as part of the European Union than not'

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

Celebrity chef Rick Stein believes the UK is 'better off' in the EU than out, he told The Radio Times.

The chef owner of eight UK restaurants, famous for his TV appearances and award-winning cookbooks, spoke of his late father's suicide and how it affected him as a teenager.

His dad, Eric Stein, took his life when the chef was just 17. Despite it having happened so long ago, the 72 year-old chef said, he has taken on his core beliefs.

“My dad was very, very in favour of the European Union," he said.

“My family on that side are part–German, so he understood and remembered things going so badly wrong. So it means a lot to me."

Although he said he has deliberately kept politics out of his career, sticking rather to light topics, he believes the UK is in a better position within the EU.

"I like being joined to France.”

The chef, who received a CBE in 2017 for services to the economy, hasn't made a secret of his stance on Brexit.

In 2016, he pulled out of plans to open a restaurant in Eastbourne, citing economic uncertainty caused by the result of the referendum.

Last year he signed a letter shared among the hospitality industry in support of a People's Vote on the government's Brexit deal, arguing that foreign talent is crucial to the sector and that restricting free movement would have a catastrophic effect on the industry.

Other chefs to have signed the letter include Fergus Henderson, Ruth Rogers and Gary Usher.

The chef recently filmed a TV series across the Channel called Secret France, as well as a cookbook which will go on sale on October 31st.

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 29th October 2019

Rick Stein: 'I just think we’re better as part of the European Union than not'