While Kanye West was conspicuously absent from the event dubbed the ‘Glastonbury for chefs’, we were treated to a blast of NWA as Sat Bains danced onto the stage. ‘We were asked which song we wanted as our entrance music, and as a joke I said ‘Fuck the Police’,’ he explained to the laughing crowd. ‘I didn’t know that was actually coming on – sorry about that!’
Perched on higgledy-piggledy hay bales, for the audience this was the second cooking-demonstration-cum-TED-talk of the morning from the Universal Cookery and Food Festival's varied programme. With the fine dining side of the industry covered by, among others, Sat Bains and Kenny Atkinson, head chef at the newly Michelin-starred House of Tides, the rest of the programme ran the gamut from independent producers and premium suppliers to development chefs for some of the country’s most ubiquitous chains. The crowd, too, was equally mixed, with culinary students rubbing shoulders with chefs and experts from across the industry.
Sat Bain’s talk was on ‘graft, grime and glory’, a discussion on his own route into food and where he believed the industry was going. Charismatic and candid in equal measure, the chef was incredibly open about his own experiences as a young man (‘I loved the hours, I loved the fact that we were working when everyone else was playing, but we would then go and play while everyone else was in bed – and that’s where all the fun is!‘) and where he believed the future of the industry was going.