What You Missed at the Sat Bains/Claude Bosi Dinner at Coi

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.

Earlier: Two of England’s Hottest Chefs to Cook at Coi and Plum This Month
Daniel Patterson Cradles a Sloth, Almost Dies From Eating a Water Lily Out of the Amazon

The first two opening dishes come from the Coi canon. Here we have Patterson’s surprising cold first course, featuring an expertly sculpted beet atop a complex, floral, and slightly tart rose petal ice, with yogurt underneath. It was a totally new combination of flavors for us, and one that elevated the humble beet into something bright and new. It was served with a totally bizarre and wonderful sake, the Kamoizumi ‘Komekome’ from Hiroshima, that was more akin to a dry Riesling.
The second Coi dish was this deceptively simple plate of diced clam and geoduck served with delicate noodles of bull kelp and squid ink, as well as wild fennel and Meyer lemon.
Bosi’s first dish was this brightly acidic dish of peas, lime, mint, and onion that was like a portrait of spring.
Probably our favorite dish of the night was this intense blast of umami from Sat Bains, featuring oxtail in his signature mushroom ketchup, served with a sous-vide duck egg and shaved porcinis. Imagine a subtler, more complex version of Worcestershire sauce, multiply it, and meld it with tender beef and a runny egg. Heaven. And it was paired with a great, uniquely tannic, deep-colored white wine that almost masquerades as a red: the Radikon ‘Oslavje’ from Friuli.
Bains’s second dish was this playful mix of radishes, brassicas, flowers, charred onions, and smoked Hollandaise.
For a main course, Bosi served this earthy preparation of chicken, rich with layers of umami from morels, coffee, parmesan, and brightened by a bit of tarragon.
As a welcome palette cleanser, Hickox served this delicious compressed strawberry dessert with sorrel ice cream and buttermilk foam.
The main dessert was this incredibly light, buttery, and tangy goat milk brioche served with cherries, a bit of mint, and a goat-milk-cherry sorbet. A light, nuanced, and original dessert.
And finally, just as the meal began with a couple of papadum-like, paper-thin spiced flatbreads, the meal ends with this intensely delicate chocolate paper.
What You Missed at the Sat Bains/Claude Bosi Dinner at Coi