Successful Nottingham chef, Craig Floate, who has cooked alongside the likes of Antonio Carluccio, Michael Caines (photographed), Gregg Wallace, John Torode, Adam Simmonds and Matt Tebbutt, will be sharing his years of culinary expertise with aspiring chefs from Nottingham College on 9th November, when he is set to take over 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 will prep, cook and serve an impressive five-course tasting menu carefully designed by Craig. His love of cooking with fresh ingredients sourced from the local area is evident in his menu. Dishes include: 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.
Student Claire Chocholko, 33, from Browtowe, is no stranger to working with Craig. She explains: “The College put me forward to work at the Nottingham Food and Drink Festival and that’s when I first met Craig. I’ve now worked for him several times at his private dining and corporate catering events, which has been brilliant experience. He is such a fantastic mentor and he’s at the top of his game so it’s a real advantage getting to learn from him.”
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. I think it’s safe to say that Nottingham diners are in for a real treat.”
Check out the menu here and to book your table, please call the Adams Restaurant on 0115 910 4510 or online here.
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.