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A chef has prompted debate after revealing that he refuses to serve vegan food at his two Michelin-starred restaurant – branding it a ‘rip off’.

Sat Bains, the founder of Sat Bains restaurant in Nottinghamshire, offers two tasting menus – comprising either seven or 10 courses, costing £105 and £120-a-head.

Bains says due to the ingredients in vegan food being cheap, he will not serve it to guests, as he wants to give them ‘value for money’.

‘It’s my business’

“You can’t go to a heavy metal concert and expect classical music,” said Bains. “It’s my business and my business model to do what I want. I don’t do vegan, halal, or kosher. 

“Vegan food is the biggest rip-off. The ingredients are so cheap. I want to give people value for money…It’s not just 10 dishes thrown on a menu – it’s thought about so much in minute detail. We want to give our customers the best food we can. 

“We are not specialists in vegan food and I never set out to be a vegan restaurant. The customers coming here know what to expect. We’re niche – we can be niche with our menu in terms of ingredients so there are certain dietaries we can’t do and won’t do. I can’t go to a vegan restaurant and ask for steak.”

‘Missed opportunity’

Sam Calvert, Head of Communications for The Vegan Society, described Bain’s stance as ‘disappointing’, saying it is a ‘missed opportunity to accept the creative challenge to produce fabulous food that is good for animals and for the planet’.

“Vegans may be a minority but they often decide where other diners eat so if you don’t cater for them you can miss out on other business,” she added.

“There are many Michelin starred chefs who are stepping up to the plate though, so discerning vegans don’t need to miss out.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.