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The Corporation

Posted: 11/05/17

Renowned chef Sat Bains inspires next generation

Students at West Nottinghamshire College received tips on culinary career success from one of Britain’s most celebrated chefs, Sat Bains.

  • Renowned two-star Michelin chef Sat Bains (centre) with catering and hospitality students in the college’s restaurant, Refined.
  • The renowned chef takes part in a question and answer session with students.
  • Catering and hospitality students quiz the celebrated chef
  • Sat Bains presents the AA College Rosette plaque to head of lifestyle Nikki Slack, joined by catering and hospitality students and staff.

The two Michelin-star chef patron of Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms gave his unique insight into the restaurant business, courtesy of a question and answer session with students on the college’s professional cookery, food and beverage service, and hospitality supervision and leadership courses.

Addressing a group of 40 learners, he urged them to “have determination and a clear vision – and don’t give up. If you put the time in, you will get the rewards.”

The renowned culinary figure – who went on to become one of the country’s top chefs after winning the prestigious Roux Scholarship almost 20 years ago –  outlined his career journey and offered advice on how the young trainees can achieve their own ambitions.

Sam Rash, 19, from Nottingham, who studies the NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Hospitality Supervision and Leadership, said: “Sat told us how he runs both aspects of his restaurant, the kitchen and front-of-house, and how he’s developed his teams there.

“Sat is really inspirational. He’s really successful but also very down to earth. I learnt a lot and came away feeling very motivated.”

Kyle Alvey, 19, from Mansfield, who studies the NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Professional Cookery, said: “Sat came into the kitchens to watch what we were doing; giving advice when needed and a detailed description of why we had to do things in a certain way.

“It’s humbling to know Sat started out like us. Coming to college is the beginning of our careers and it shows what we can go on to achieve afterwards. I definitely feel more knowledgeable about the industry following his visit.”

Speaking afterwards, Sat said: “The students asked some insightful questions and are very passionate about their future careers.

“I’ve been fortunate to have had a phenomenal career in this industry and I’ve been doing this a long time, so I wanted them to take the opportunity to glean as much information as they possibly could.

“I think of it as an investment; encouraging the next generation to be as determined as I was and passing on some of my experience.

“I’ve come from a background that wasn’t gastronomic at all; but with determination and grit, I achieved something. I want to give them the same vision that I had, and the encouragement that they can do it too.”

Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms, in Nottingham, currently ranks as the third best restaurant in the country in the 2017 Good Food Guide and is the number-one restaurant in the East Midlands in this year’s The Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants list.

During his visit on Tuesday 9 May, Sat presented staff and students with the AA College Rosette recently awarded to its commercial restaurant, Refined, for the high standard of its food, service and vocational training.

Head of lifestyle, Nikki Slack, said: “We are really privileged to receive this award and accepting it from Sat makes it even more special.

“This is a great accolade for the college and it’s down to the hard work and dedication of all the staff and students that run the restaurant. It’s something we can all be really proud of and a true representation of the high-quality food and service we provide in Refined for our customers.”

The chef, who is a regular face on television thanks to appearances on hit BBC shows MasterChef, Saturday Kitchen and Great British Menu, was visiting the college to help judge the Young Chef of the Year category of this year’s Nottinghamshire Food and Drink Awards – the third consecutive year it has hosted the cook-off in its training kitchens.

This saw seven chefs from restaurants across the county compete to create a winning main course and dessert, with the winner announced at this year’s Nottinghamshire Food and Drink Awards hosted by renowned restaurant critic Jay Rayner on 15 June at East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham.