How Rick Stein has stayed positive amidst his life-changing health diagnosis

Rick has previously admitted he "isn't going to last that much longer."
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British celebrity chef and regular MasterChef Australia guest judge Rick Stein has long been candid with the general public about his failing health.

Most recently in February 2024, the professional chef revealed how his open heart surgery in mid-2022 left him feeling “tremendously optimistic” about his life, despite his very real fears that he may not have long left.

The Long Weekends presenter, 77, found out his aorta was failing in 2018, and after years of being out of breath, was recommended for the above-mentioned surgery by his doctor. Thankfully it was a success.

masterchef judges rick stein
Rick is a MasterChef mainstay. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Reflecting upon this turbulent period of his life and his ongoing recovery in an interview with The Times, Rick revealed that his doting wife Sarah Burns (who he affectionately calls Sas) had made all the difference.

“Sas was very, very good to me during that time. She cooked for me.”

“She never cooks for me normally and I suddenly realised she’s actually rather a good cook,” he added.

In the same interview, Rick revealed that Sas had also helped him keep his spirits up amidst such a terrible prognosis.

“I’m not manic depressive. I’m not really prone to depression, although all of us go through difficult patches. But what was attractive to me about Sas was that she always looks on the bright side, you know?” the chef shared candidly.

“Part of that’s being Australian. Australians, generally, take a slightly more optimistic view of life being in a country with lots of promise.”

“She’s incredibly good at looking after people.” (Credit: Getty)

The night before his lifesaving surgery, Rick said he was contemplating death “big time”.

Looking back on that time now, Rick can appreciate how lucky he was.

“To be honest, having had the operation and recovered, the improvement in my health has left me tremendously optimistic

“Even though at my age and with the normal realities of life I’m not going to last that much longer, I think as long as you’ve got your health and you’re optimistic generally and enjoying your life, you don’t tend to ponder too much about how little life you’ve got left.”

Rick and Sarah have travelled to Europe more than once since his surgery! (Credit: Instagram)

Rick had previously spoken to Daily Mail about his operation, sharing that it was “scary” before he went in.

“Afterwards you realise if you had died you wouldn’t have noticed, because you were under the anaesthetic,” he told Daily Mail.

“An operation like that stops you in your tracks and makes you think about who you are. It’s time to review your life. You’ve been through a very life-threatening experience.

“The surgeon says it’s no more dangerous than the appendix these days, but to have your heart taken out, repaired and put back in, personally I’d say that’s big!”

rick stein
Rick is living life to the fullest, despite not knowing how much longer he has left. (Credit: Channel Ten)

Why did Rick Stein move to Australia?

After his very first visit to Australia in the 1960’s, Rick fell in love.

Often describing Australia as his “second home”, Rick regularly visits his harbourside residence in Sydney as well as his flagship restaurants in both Mollymook and Port Stephens.

He also owns homes in both Cornwall and West London in the United Kingdom.

Has Rick Stein got a restaurant in Australia?

Rick Stein has two restaurants in Australia: Rick Stein at Bannisters in Mollymook, and Rick Stein at Bannisters in Port Stephens.

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