Rick Stein sells £43 ‘Cornish breakfast’ – but you have to cook it yourself

TV chef Rick Stein has launched a ‘Cornish breakfast’ box but it will set you back £43 to have it delivered and you have to cook it yourself.

The food box is designed for two and includes four sausages, six eggs, bread, bacon, ‘hot’ pudding, jam, coffee and butter.

It cost £35 but the postage is £7.95.

The famous chef who lives in Cornwall tells his buyers: “Enjoy a full Cornish breakfast at home with all the ingredients you need to serve a very hearty breakfast for two.”

There is a even a ‘luxury breakfast box’ which includes smoked salmon and Champagne but this one costs £72.50 without postage.

There are also several other meal boxes you can order from the celebrity chef’s website, with others including lobster, steak, Indonesian curry, and fresh fish.

In June it announced the closure of restaurants at Porthleven, Cornwall, and Marlborough in Wiltshire.

The Marlborough site was rescued after the landlord reduced his bills.

Some diners have been quick to slam the price, especially when a Full English will only cost £5-£15 in a restaurant or cafe.

The ingredients would also only cost £17.70 if you were buying them at Tesco.

Gillian Molesworth reviewed the breakfast box

I adore a Full English Breakfast, so reviewing Rick Stein’s Weekend Breakfast Box for two people was a dream assignment for me.

How gourmet was it? Would it be worth the £35 price – or £43, delivered?

This is one of several meal boxes you can order from the Padstow celebrity chef’s website and have sent to your door: others include lobster, steak, Indonesian curry, and naturally from the Seafood King, fresh fish.

It’s designed for a weekend brunch, so you book for delivery on Fridays and Saturdays. Meanwhile, Stein’s ‘luxury’ breakfast box, including champagne, costs double the price – £72.50, not including postage.

Having unpacked my box, I got straight to cooking. The sausages went under the grill.

I gave them a 10 minute head start and then put the streaky bacon – thick enough not to disintegrate but thin enough to go nice and crispy – in a warm frying pan.

I didn’t know what hog’s pudding actually was: the internet said it was a combination of pork meat, fat, suet, bread, and oatmeal or pearl barley – also called groats pudding or hoggy diddle, amusingly.

To double check, I called Tywardreath Butchers. “It’s a secret recipe,” the butcher told me, with a chuckle in his voice. “But it’s mainly pork, with some rusks and herbs. And white pepper.” (Apparently, white pepper is also a key seasoning of Rick Stein’s custom sausages, also made in Tywardreath – but don’t tell him I told you.)

The hog’s pudding was already cooked, so I just fried the slices in the bacon grease to give them a bit of colour. Then it was just the eggs to fry and my full English for two was ready – with my teenage son an enthusiastic brunch companion.

The sourdough loaf from Coomeshead Farm near Launceston was full bodied: a meaty, yet yielding mouthful, well smeared with Trewithen Dairy butter.

The Stein box did not come with any of the veggies you might expect with a Full English: namely mushrooms and tomatoes.

Here’s what you get in the Weekend Breakfast Box (the Luxury Breakfast Box, £72.50, also includes smoked salmon, a bottle of Champagne and Cornish Orchards apple juice):

Food item

Supplier

“Grand” eggs x 6

St Ewe Eggs, St Ewe near Truro

Breakfast sausages x4

Tywardreath Butchers near St Austell

Streaky bacon, 8 rashers

Tywardreath Butchers

Hogs pudding, 6 slices

Tywardreath Butchers

Sourdough bread, one large loaf

Coomeshead Farm near Launceston

Cornish butter, 250g

Trewithen Dairy near Bodmin

Ground Coffee, 250g (10-12 cups)

Origin, Porthleven

Apple and blackberry jam, 380g

Rick Stein, Padstow

There was plenty of food on the plate though.

The sausages were delicate yet flavourful, and the texture of the hog’s pudding was soft but firm.

It was not as strong a flavour as black pudding or even haggis, so would not offend a sensitive modern palette.

The trio of bacon, sausage and hog’s pudding was too much pork for me in one sitting, so I would have leftovers ready for a sandwich tomorrow.

Basically, it was a high quality, locally sourced Full English Breakfast (minus tomatoes and mushrooms, and baked beans if you like those), with a bit left over for tomorrow.

There was plenty of food on the plate though. The sausages were delicate yet flavourful, and the texture of the hog’s pudding was soft but firm.

It was not as strong a flavour as black pudding or even haggis, so would not offend a sensitive modern palette.

The trio of bacon, sausage and hog’s pudding was too much pork for me in one sitting, so I would have leftovers ready for a sandwich tomorrow.

Basically, it was a high quality, locally sourced Full English Breakfast (minus tomatoes and mushrooms, and baked beans if you like those), with a bit left over for tomorrow.

What do we think about the price point? Is £43 too much to pay for a meal whose supermarket equivalent (I priced it up in the Tesco Finest range) is £17.70? After all, you still had to cook it.

To use a ghastly corporate expression, let’s “drill down”.

In a pub, restaurant or café, a Full English costs between about £5-£15 per person, without drinks, and with varying levels of portion size and quality. In a more fine dining setting or in a hotel, you’re looking at £15-£25 per person.

A survey of fine dining establishments conducted by The Times in 2016 found that the average Full English was £25.54: if you add 3% inflation to that, you get £29.37 per person in 2021.

Apart from the odd blob of caviar, a duck egg or fresh orange juice, there’s not a lot of variation in the basic building blocks of a Full English Breakfast.

So, with top quality local food, perhaps Stein’s box is not outrageous. And, it’s a great thing for the county that he’s promoting beautiful Cornish food to the nation.

You just end up with that age old Stein conundrum don’t you: great for Cornish food, but too much to pay for most Cornish people.

Still, the Weekend Breakfast Box is a welcome treat in a time when we need all the treats we can get.

And, it will keep you full all day. I speak from experience.