A couple of weeks ago we pointed you to a special dinner happening at Coi featuring a couple of Daniel Patterson’s international chef pals, Sat Bains and Claude Bosi. The pair became friends in London in years past, and Bains now has a Michelin-starred and much buzzed about eponymous restaurant in Nottingham, while Bosi has Michelin two-starred Hibiscus in London. Patterson got to know them at Cook It Raw in Finland last year and at some London events, and he invited both chefs — neither of whom had ever been to California before! — to cook in his restaurants on Friday and Saturday and spend the next few days hitting some culinary highlights around the Bay Area.
Grub Street met up with them for a drink (or eight) on Thursday night, and talked with them a little about their food and their take on America.
For starters, Bosi, who’s French by birth and has been in England for a dozen or so years, had never heard of Jacques Pepin, and had only been told by a friend in New York (David Chang) that “people in California are weird.” Like Pepin, Bosi says he’s been out of France so long that he says he’s not considered French anymore, and he’s even embraced English food to the point that he’s opened a traditional pub in Wimbledon, just in time for the tennis tournament. “I love drinking real ale and eating roast beef,” he says, and Bains has told him, “You’re more English than I am.”
Bains, who’s British by birth but of Indian descent, says that he sees England as “like a magpie when it comes to food — we pick up little bits of everything and bring it home.” He concentrates on the cuisine of the English midlands, and says that all over England, chefs in fine restaurants are now obsessed with seasonality. “Seasonality is everything for us. I think it goes back to René at Noma.” He also combines spices from all over the world in his food, but one thing he’s known for is reinterpreting and reinventing indigenous British flavors — like a four-hundred-year-old recipe for a mushroom-based ketchup.
As for whether they thought any chefs in Europe were paying attention to the notable restaurants of Northern California, the answer was essentially no. This appears to be one of Patterson’s goals, actually: playing culinary ambassador to globally renowned chefs, and making sure that restaurants like Manresa (where they dined last night), the French Laundry (where they’re dining today), and his own make it onto their radars and into the international food conversation.
Below, check out our slideshow of the meal that all three chefs cooked in tandem, with two courses each from Patterson, Bosi, and Bains, and two dessert courses from Coi pastry chef Deanie Hickox.