Rick Stein defends ‘greedy’ charge for condiments at his fish restaurant

Chef and restaurateur Rick Stein has defended his decision to raise the price of condiments at his fish restaurant in Padstow to £2 a pot.

It was recently announced that the 76-year-old celebrity chef’s eatery, Rick’s Chippy, will charge £1.75 for condiments if customers take them away but add a 25p surcharge if they eat in.

The list of condiments that the restaurant serves includes mayonnaise, aioli, mango chutney, gravy, goan curry sauce, and raita. They are served in small paper ramekins.

According to The Telegraph, Stein’s representatives said he hasn’t put up the price of the condiments since 2020, however, inflation has forced him to act on it now.

“Our homemade condiments using Rick Stein’s special recipes are prepared in Padstow by our team of chefs,” the chef’s representatives said in a statement. “Food inflation, energy costs, along with rising wages, has driven up the cost of production significantly.

“We have held our condiment prices since 2020, but with skyrocketing costs, we have reluctantly, along with many others, had to pass on some of the costs to our customers.”

A classic order of cod and chips at Stein’s Fish and Chips in Padstow costs £16.95, while the sample menu on the restaurant’s website lists sea bass and chips at £18.95. A side order of mushy peas is £2.

Many people have reacted to the news of the price increase by showing “disappointment” in having to pay for extras.

(PA Archive)

“Rick Stein’s charging £2 for a sachet of mayonnaise to go with his £17.95 takeaway cod and chips in Padstow,” journalist Rebecca Tidy wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “He pays minimum wage, so workers would need to work two hours just to buy lunch. Cornwall’s rich-poor divide is massive.”

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Another critic added: “Not surprised. I’ve always felt that there’s something of the night about him.”

One TripAdvisor user wrote: “Having had excellent takeaway from here last year, we decided to treat some visiting friends to fish and chips in the restaurant – we were so disappointed.

“On top of the £16 for cod and chips, you were expected to pay an additional £2 for condiments such as tartare sauce or mayo.”

Another X user wrote: “That’s pure greed, customers should vote with their feet at Rick Stein’s fish restaurant and boycott it.”

Many Tripadvisor users also left reviews claming that Stein’s fish “isn’t as good as it used to be”.

“Such a disappointment,” one person wrote. “The fish (haddock) tasted nice, but the chips were soggy. I can’t work out if they are pre-processed, as they certainly do not appear to be fresh. It was overpriced for what it was and if I’m honest Rick Stein needs to really up its game.

“The cost of the fish and chips and condiments was very expensive for what it was that is for sure.”

The Independent has contacted Stein for comment.

Earlier this year, fellow celebrity chef Tom Kerridge was forced to defend a £35 pricetag for fish and chips at his restaurant, Kerridges, based at luxury department store Harrods.

Tom Kerridge defended his £35 charge for fish and chips at his Harrods restaurant

(PA Media)

Angry customers called the 49-year-old’s portions of line-caught turbot and hand-cut chips “scrawny”, also calling out the “thimbles of sauce” that came with the dish.

The Michelin-starred Kerridge told the Radio Times that the backlash towards prices at his restaurants no longer affects him and he has learnt to “deal with it”.

“I’m seen as a man of the people, so when I put fish and chips on for £35, they shout at me for it being expensive,” he said.

“But the people criticising me don’t understand how it’s priced. Fish and chips was always seen as cheap, fast food, and I get that because of where I grew up.”

Kerridge clarified that he does “love” regular fish and chips, but that the dish he serves in Harrods is different.

“At Harrods, it’s line-caught, day-boat turbot,” the Great British Menu judge said, referring to fish that is caught using traditional fishing methods by fishermen who go out to sea and return on the same day.

“The potatoes are specifically sourced for their sugar and starch content, then individually cut up by a person. It’s bespoke dining in the most exclusive and beautiful shop in the world. Of course it’s expensive.”

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