Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Students cook up a storm with the help of top Nottingham chef

Successful local chef, Craig Floate, who has cooked alongside the likes of Antonio Carluccio, Michael Caines, Gregg Wallace, John Torode, Adam Simmonds and Matt Tebbutt, shared his years of culinary expertise with aspiring chefs from Nottingham College on 9th November, when he took charge at the College’s Adams Restaurant & Brasserie.

Born and raised in Nottingham, Craig has always had a passion for food; and it was after coming to Nottingham College (or Clarendon College as it was known at the time) that his culinary journey really began. He said: “I’m really excited to be back at the College where it all started for me. If I can inspire just one young person to pursue a career as a chef then I’ll be happy. I get so much joy from working in this industry so it’s fantastic to get the opportunity to share my passion of food and cooking with the next generation of chefs.”

Under his watch-full eye, students were challenged with prepping, cooking and serving an impressive five-course tasting menu carefully designed by Craig. His love of cooking with fresh ingredients sourced from the local area was evident in his menu, with dishes that included: roasted pumpkin velouté, curry roasted roots and crispy kale; wild duck carpaccio, beetroot, truffle emulsion and sourdough croutons; loin of Nottinghamshire roe deer, black pudding, kale, salsify, braised lettuce and game sauce; and to end: Bramley apple granite with cinnamon.

Ka-Cheong Leung, 19, from Hyson Green, is studying the Level 3 Professional Chefs Diploma (specialising in pastry), and was in charge of desserts for the evening. He said: “It was great fun working alongside Craig, and a real privilege. I learnt so much, including how to get Mille-feuille just right! This was a real bonus because I’ll be tested on making it again as part of my final grade. The experience also taught me to keep my cool under pressure, something I know I’ll have to get used to if I’m going to succeed in the industry.”

Casey Stanton, 18, from Bestwood put the skills she’s learnt from the Level 3 Hospitality Supervision and Leadership Diploma to the test, assisting with the smooth running of the evening. She said: “It was a big responsibility but I really enjoyed the challenge. Craig was great to work with; he’s so organised in the way he runs a kitchen and that’s something I’ll take from the experience and use in the future.

“Since I started at the College on the Level 1 course I’ve had lots of opportunities to work with industry professionals like Craig and it’s such an advantage because you get to hear, see and experience first-hand what the sector expects from you.”

Nottingham College Lecturer, Sam North, said: “It’s vitally important to us that we provide our students with work experience opportunities and the chance to work with professionals like Craig. Cooking styles, food trends and the hospitality industry as a whole are always evolving, so it’s crucial for our trainee chefs to experience one-to-one sessions with experts from the industry. We are really grateful to Craig for taking time out of his busy schedule to work with us.”

The Adams Restaurant, based in Nottingham’s Lace Market, has regular themed evenings for diners to enjoy. Check out what’s coming up next, on the website at www.nottinghamcollege.ac.uk. To book a table, please call the Adams Restaurant on 0115 910 4510.

More about Craig

Craig initially gained experience in established Nottingham restaurants such as Le Tetard in The Lace Market, a small French restaurant, whilst continuing his studies at Clarendon College. He then moved to the North East to do: a la carte, banqueting, weddings and functions at Parkmore hotel, which gained 2 AA rosettes for its food offering. Next, he travelled around Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He said: “I was fortunate enough to work in some small boutique restaurants in Sydney and Brisbane and I learnt and experienced so much during this time. I worked with some amazing ingredients, including exotic fish, and I learnt to prepare meats using cooking techniques I’d never tried before.”

On his return to the UK, he freelanced around the country at big festivals including the Cheltenham festival, Wimbledon, the golf British open, British Touring Cars and Royal Ascot. This led to his biggest role as team chef for the British Olympic and Paralympic sailing team supporting the team around Europe and worldwide on world cup events and for the London 2012 Olympic games.

For the last five years; alongside running his own business, providing private dining and corporate catering for private clients, Craig has also been working backstage providing home economic services for celebrity chefs at various food festivals. In addition, he works at Trent Bridge for England internationals and ODI matches, provides cookery lessons at Seasoned cookery school in Derbyshire, and has had various consulting roles for different catering businesses troubleshooting and boosting business. On top of all that, Craig also runs successful pop-ups and supper clubs in different locations in and around Nottingham and Derby.

 

 


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