“There’s a great feeling in the industry that British cuisine is some of the best at the moment and there are chefs out there doing fantastic things. I’m excited about being a part of it all right now,” says Sat Bains.
Ebullient as ever, the larger than life Midlander has every reason to be excited, given the success he’s enjoyed over the past couple of years – achieving a second Michelin star (which he retained in last year’s guide) and releasing his behemoth debut cookbook ‘Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian’.
His eponymous restaurant is set in an incongruously industrial location, next to a motorway flyover in Nottingham – something Bains sees as another incentive for creating highly personal and memorable food. “It’s a modern chef’s interpretation of British food. It’s very identifiable to our style now and diners have unique dishes they can’t eat anywhere else – that’s the whole point.
“I like it here and I’ve always liked the idea that we can be very original because of where we are. We’re out in the middle of nowhere, so that has to be the case. That’s why I believe we should put so much effort into our research and development. Diners need to come and have an incredible experience and taste unique flavours they can only get here.”
As such, Bains and his team work in conjunction with their development kitchen, where ideas for dishes are evolved, experimented with and perfected by the development chef Dan Crossin. “He’s quite academic,” says Bains. “It works well because I, John [Freeman, head chef] and Reuben [Davis, sous chef] all have access to it, but Dan goes away and works on the physical dish – even if it’s a raw copy. We might not even be looking at a finished dish, but at an element or a different processes that can help us give flavours more depth.”