The Sheriff of Nottingham
- Words by Andrea Petrini
- Photos by John-Arandara Blackwell
The encyclopaedia is not exactly the discovery of the century, but it might be the best way to answer the question you will all be asking yourselves. Who is Sat Bains? The most heteroclite of English cooks? The most attractive? Well it’s not just his charisma and fame, always promising for a bit of fun, that lead you to drive a good way down the M1 out of London towards the north of England, to Nottingham. Certainly, the more prepared of our readers will catch two birds with one stone by making the most with a stopover in Sherwood forest, where once upon a time Robin Hood and his merry men made their hideout, a few miles from this busy university city. Not by accident they call Sat the Sheriff of Nottingham in these parts. A metre ninety tall, shaved head and bloodshot eyes, if it wasn’t for his dazzling Durban smile against naturally suntanned skin, you would immediately cast him in a Shakespearian role as a bloody angry Othello if you ever met him in a dark alley at night.
In reality, Satwant Singh, (“Sat” Bains or Sat to his friends, who are numer- ous) is a big softy. A man apart; an open book to all things possible. It’s great to see, especially given the two stars he has attracted, as well as the sea of prizes and recognition that his first book, Too many chiefs, only one Indian, took home. It was his first work, the most unusual of 2012, created and self-made beyond the usual editorial rules. An independent, mo- lecular book in line with his cooking, far from contrite, about rules and current fashions (be they Post-Nordic, After-Molecular, Neo-Spanish or Proto-Forager). While it may not be an encyclopaedia the calibre of Di- derot & d’Alemebert, Cook_inc is proud to offer a Satwant Singh Bains
list of fundamentals, perhaps a bit disordered, but, like Sat himself, not at all without purpose.