When Did You First Have An Interest Cooking? From my Mum, whilst growing up she…
Chef Interviews – Craig Floate
I’ve had an interest in cooking ever since I was younger cooking with my mum in the family kitchen. Making simple dishes like roast dinners and fish and chips etc…. Not fancy but simple foods that fill a family of 5!
How Long Have You Been Cooking Professionally?
I’ve been cooking professionally since I was 16. I was doing my college course at Clarendon college whilst working in a small French restaurant in the lace market ‘Le Tetard’ Doing basic prep from vegetables to assisting the head chef in service time, I was only a small venue but I loved it!
Where Do You Get Your Inspiration From?
All over really! What ever is trendy and popular at the time, playing round with dishes and flavours when I have time, from other chefs, you never stop learning in this game!
If You Was Not A Chef, What Would You Want To Do?
Its all I’ve ever done so I cant imagine being anything else really, maybe something to do with sports id say.
Simple, fresh, attractive. I’m not reinventing the wheel, I use the best ingredients I can possibly get and just cook them how they are meant to be cooked and played around with too much. Yes I do like food to look attractive but if you can close your eyes and taste something you want as much flavour to come through in that dish as humanly possible.
What Course Do You Prefer To Cook?
I do love cooking main courses and sauces. Its kind of the pivotal point in the meal and a chance to shine, although I have been really taking to my desserts lately and I think its certainly easier to impress people with an amazing dessert than a main course, it just takes a bit more time and patience.
What Is Your Favourite Dish/Signature Dish to Make?
I don’t really have a signature dish, I must admit I do love cooking and making a good chocolate fondant and also eating! I do have a bit of a sweet tooth so anything with chocolate in is always a winner with me!
I love cooking with lamb. I love the crispy fat when rendered down correctly, the softness of the meat and the punchy flavour when bang in season, it really is an amazing ingredient to work with.
What is Your Favourite Dish To Eat?
Corned beef and pickle sandwich!!! Simple! Us cooks spend most our time behind the stoves and eating and trying everything at work so by the time we come home I just want something quick and simple so a sandwich works every time!
Which Other Chefs Inspire You?
I must admit I really like Tom Kerridge style of food, simple but flavoursome food! Other than that, the usual suspects I suppose – Gordon Ramsey, Marcus Waring, Sat Bains etc…. Michael O’Hare is a strange one to watch at the moment!
His food on Great British menu this year was out of this world, and I think something different is always good. Also the Roca brothers from Spain are unbelievable also.
LISTEN!!! Its not a pretty industry, most chefs are strange!!! We stay in doors all day, play with fire and get off on being in the shit and busy as hell! Its all about hard work and listening and the willingness to learn.
I’ve taught a few people over my time but you can straight away that they aren’t interested and I don’t see the point in wasting my time if they aren’t interested.
Any Thing You Would Like To Share, IE New Book? Development At Restaurant etc?
Where To Find Craig Floate?