When your father is acclaimed British chef and restaurateur Rick Stein, food is sure to play a large part in family life. It’s little wonder, then, that sons Jack and Charlie are following in his footsteps in Wine, Dine & Stein, a lifestyle series exploring the wine and food of Cape Town’s Durbanville Valley.
Over the course of 13 episodes, viewers are taken on a gourmet journey with Charlie chatting to the winemakers, tasting their wines and trying to come up with the best pairing for the food that older brother Jack is preparing with the chefs – both in and out of the kitchens. Jack Stein discusses his time in South Africa filming the series.
Tell us a bit about Wine, Dine & Stein – what can viewers look forward to?
It’s all set in and around 12 wine farms located in Cape Town’s Durbanville Valley and is based on our different fields of expertise. Charlie is the wine guy and I’m the chef. It’s around Charlie talking to the winemakers and finding interesting wines and me having food experiences with local chefs and food producers. Then there are some brotherly competitive elements thrown in including a wheelbarrow race, firing canons, wakeboarding in a quarry, paragliding and a cocktail making competition to name just a few!
What drew you to filming in South Africa?
Charlie has been going on about South African wine for a long time. It’s well priced and extremely good quality. I knew a little about the food scene there – especially around Cape Town – so I was keen to learn about new ingredients and traditions.
Were there any standout places that you visited?
There was, on top of a mountain — we were both not keen, but we ended up going down it in a rather extreme way! You’ll have to watch the show. Also, we visited Newlands to watch some cricket on our day off, which was great. We are both huge cricket fans.
It sounds like a tough gig! What were the high points?
The high points, for me, were seeing how different wine farms approach their food. In some, it was just simple burgers and pizzas; with others, we were foraging for waterlily flowers and braising them, which was amazing or learning how to make boerewors and roosterbrood.
You and Charlie seem to get on well. How did you cope spending so much time with your brother?
Yeah, really good. We lived together for the duration of the shoot. It was great seeing how professional he was with the camera crew; he’s a natural. We also had a great mate, Scott Wade, who used to be the head chef of the two-Michelin-starred restaurant Midsummer House in the UK, so on our days off we ate some amazing food in other areas of the Western Cape such as Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.
Your dad Rick is a stalwart of the foodie travelogue genre – what have you learned from him?
Be nice to the crew, offer to help any way you can and always be on time. They do the hard work – all we do is say our lines.
Did you learn to cook at a young age? Were you always interested in food?
Yeah, I guess we were the prototypical foodie family, travelling and getting inspiration for the restaurant during our winter. We spent a lot of time in India, the Far East and Australia, so we were surrounded by food and produce the whole time. I love food and I love travelling and meeting people through food. I learnt that from my parents. But I didn’t eat in a Michelin restaurant with my dad until I was 28. We always ate food from street vendors, which surprises some people.
Can you give us some of your favourite food and wine pairings?
- Sauvignon Blanc and oysters – a match made in heaven.
- Bubbly and curry – a weird one but it really works for me.
- A young Riesling with spicy Thai food.
- Dessert wine with blue cheese – a recently discovered favourite.