Nottingham diners were treated to a special five-course tasting menu created by successful local chef Craig Floate last week at our Adams Restaurant & Brasserie.
Craig, who has cooked alongside celebrity chefs such as Antonio Carluccio, Michael Caines, Gregg Wallace, John Torode, Adam Simmonds and Matt Tebbutt, took time out of his busy schedule to share his culinary expertise with our aspiring chefs, who were tasked with prepping, cooking and serving his impressive menu.
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.”
Craig’s 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 my Mille-feuille just right! I'll be tested on this as part of my final grade so I'm hoping I'll remember all the tips he gave me. 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. “It was a big responsibility because I wanted to make sure we measured up to his high standards, 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 remember for 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.”