Sat Bains

Sat Bains receiving his honorary degree, HonPrD, 2011
Credit: Ede & Ravenscroft


Chef Sat Bains and his wife Amanda are the proprietors of Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms in Nottingham which in 2003 was awarded the City’s first ever Michelin star. Following his review of the restaurant in April 2009, Jasper Gerard described him as: “The most wildly inventive chef to emerge from Britain since Heston Blumenthal”. He has won many illustrious awards over the past 15 years and most recently Sat has been named Chef of the Year in the Which? Good Food Guide for 2011.

Sat was born in Derby, a member of a Punjabi family. When he was 21 he decided to go to a catering college in Nottingham with the intention of meeting girls but discovered that he rather enjoyed cooking. In 1996, after passing his City and Guild qualification, Sat joined a team opening the first of Raymond Blanc’s brasseries Le Petit Blanc in Oxford. Following a spell at L’Escargot in London he returned to Nottingham as head chef at the Martin Arms in Colston Basset. He then moved to the restaurant of The Ashbourne Gallery in Derbyshire. In 1999, Sat won the acclaimed Roux Scholarship, the ultimate award for any chef embarking on a career in gastronomy, which gave him the opportunity to work at the three Michelin-starred Restaurant Le Jardin des Sens in the south of France. After several years honing his skills and practising his craft throughout Europe and the UK, Sat was appointed head chef at the Hotel des Clos in Nottingham which was re-launched as Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms in November 2002.

Sat has been recognised by fellow chefs and food writers from all over the world for his innovative style of cuisine. In 2003, Sat and Amanda were awarded their first Michelin star. In 2007, the restaurant was awarded the BMW Square Meal – Best UK Restaurant of the Year. In the same year, the BBC launched a nationwide competition to find the most creative dishes for the Great British Menu. Despite stiff competition, Sat won for his dish and accompanied the other two winners for the gala dinner in Paris hosted by the British Ambassador for some of the most important gastronomes and food critics in the world. In March 2008, Sat was awarded the Observer Food Monthly Best Restaurant Award. Sat is always eager to push the boundaries of his philosophy of ‘taste, texture and temperature’, and in December 2008 he attended by invitation the Umami Workshop organised by the Japanese Culinary Academy in Kyoto and represented the UK in an exchange of views on the uniqueness and universality of the fifth taste.

Sat has long championed the use of local suppliers and selected artisan producers. He has ensured the place of the East Midlands on the international gastronomic stage, demonstrating his dishes at both the Identita Golose 2009 in Milan and The Langham Melbourne Masterclass at The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2009. In the same year, the AA awarded Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms the ultimate accolade of five AA Rosettes, the only restaurant in the 2009/2010 awards to have achieved this. Shortly after, the restaurant was named as the 4th best in the UK at the Restaurant Magazine National Restaurant Awards and Sat was voted Chef’s Chef of the Year by the most important chefs in the country.

Sat also remains enthusiastic about training for young aspiring chefs and the industry as a whole. He is an ambassador for numerous student and industry-focused activities and works closely with The Nottingham Academy of Hospitality and Catering Centre of Vocational Excellence at New College Nottingham. He has made numerous television appearances including UK TV Market Kitchen and BBC Saturday Kitchen.

Chancellor, in recognition of his inspiring contribution to gastronomy through his innovative dishes, his highly successful restaurant and commitment to training, on behalf of Academic Board, we are delighted to present Sat Bains for the conferment of the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Professional Practice.

[March 2011]