Seriously excited about Sat Bain’s magnificent first cookbook ……
‘Magnificent’ is not a word I often use for a cookbook, but this book, “Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian” is indeed magnificent, in every way.
Sat Bains has managed to put down his knives and taken time out to write his first cookbook, “Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian”, and what a magnificent masterpiece it is, in every sense of the word. Avid collectors of cookbooks will relish Sat’s literary debut (indeed, they have been waiting a long time for it.) But the wait is almost over – see the connection to Face Publications at the end of this post for more information.
“Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian” is a huge and substantial tome, stylishly covered in linen and protected in a stunning slipcase, encased in a very solid mailing box. Take note that the first edition is limited to only 10,000 numbered copies.
Sat Bains is the worthy owner of 2 Michelin stars, awarded to him at Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham. To all who know him, and those who have eaten at his restaurant or watched him on the TV, Sat is a larger than life character, so it seems only natural that his first venture into the culinary literary world should echo him in both size and sheer artistry.
“Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian”, with a foreword by Heston Blumenthal and contributions by 36 of the world’s greatest chefs, contains 450 pages of Sat’s philosophy on life, food, taste and recipes all laid out with over 700 mouth-watering photographs and illustrations.
So, why am I seriously excited about Sat Bain’s magnificent first cookbook?
As some of you know, I am the proud mum of Anthony Hodgson, Designer and Publisher of the award-winning Face Publications, and when he first decided to integrate the design and publishing of serious, beautiful cookbooks into his business, I carried out some research on the subject, which I naturally enjoyed. So when Anthony informed me that he had been approached by Sat Bains about designing his important first cookbook some three years ago, I was incredibly excited.
Then, a few months ago, I stayed at Anthony’s house to help with his new twins (Their mummy was enjoying a well-earned night of freedom with her girly friends.) After feeding, bathing, changing and putting the two tiny girls to bed, I collapsed on the settee. Suddenly Anthony appeared in front of me.
“Here you are, Mum, what you’ve been waiting for. What do you think?. Don’t forget, it’s still work in progress. It’s not finished yet.”
Presented to me was an enormous amount of sheets, cascading out of a cardboard box, and Anthony plonked these on my knee. Imagine my delight when I realised I was actually going to be allowed into the inner sanctum of this very special book. To me this was like finding buried treasure, cookbook addict that I was (and still am).
“Don’t mess it up and don’t get the pages out of order. OK?”
I nodded. I felt like I had been given the ‘Holy Grail’ of cookbooks to look at, secretly.
Head down, I devoured Sat’s words and felt his passion. The thing I remember most was that although all his recipes contained many different components, which at first looked delicious but very daunting, he encouraged us readers to actively ‘mess around’ with his ideas, and mix the different components with different foods, to have the confidence to play around with his recipes and make them our own. So many chefs are, to put it mildly, a bit ‘precious’ with their recipes. Sat wants to inspire us to have a go, put our own stamp on his recipes. What a welcome change.
For instance, there is a recipe called NG7/SANDWICH, of which the book tells us “This is the first course in our Tasting Menu, introducing you to a small but intense hit of flavour. For us, it’s a dish that emphasises the importance of local sourcing. Our Development Chef found over 70 wild plant ingredients all within our postcode area – hence the names of the dishes.”
NG7/SANDWICH is made up of these separate components, each having their own ingredient listing and easily explained recipe – ELDERBERRY VINEGAR, HORSERADISH ICE-CREAM, LOVAGE TUILE, BARLEY TUILE AND WILD HERBS.
Apart from the fact that Lovage is one of my favourite herbs, both to grow and eat, this really appealed to me. To be able to do a ‘pic and mix’ recipe, taken from the pages of one of our finest 2 Michelin star chef’s first book, and with his blessing, is culinary heaven for both amateur and professional chefs alike.
These words from Sat Bains, from “Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian” say it all:
“If you’re cooking from this book, I want you to showcase your own creative flair. I’ve given you the recipes: Now interpret the presentation in your own style so that it looks good to you. Use your own judgement.”
Somehow Sat’s enthusiasm is infectious – the more you read, the more you want to have a go. “Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian” isn’t just a collector’s coffee table book, but it will be avidly read and poured over in many a chef’s kitchen. Sat’s culinary knowledge is written for us all to digest, enjoy and then, when we are overflowing with his enthusiasm, we’ll confidently have a go at a recipe. Fingers crossed, my first will be the NG7/SANDWICH. I wonder which you will choose?
As Anthony has written on the Face Publications site:
It’s taken 3 Years, 2 Michelin stars and 1 Chef. The wait is almost over!
So you can see why I’m seriously excited about Sat Bain’s magnificient first cookbook. Bet you will be too when you’ve seen a bit more.
To read more about “Too Many Chiefs, Only One Indian”, to have a good look inside, order a signed copy, and learn more about Sat Bains and Restaurant Sat Bains, click on the Face Publications link below.