Born in Nottingham, food has been with me since I was a child. I was always in the kitchen helping my mum chop and slice things and watch how she made the most fabulous roast dinners, family meals, special occasions all look so simple!
I left school and studied at Clarendon College in Nottingham. Once I had gained my qualifications, whilst working a few bistros and small French restaurants around Nottingham, I moved up to the north east to work in a big hotel, doing a la carte, banqueting, weddings, functions everything.
I worked in the hotel industry for about 3 years before moving into NHS catering. So, catering for mass numbers, sometimes 800-900 meals daily. Then I moved into the contract catering sector. First of all working in a small IT office with about 50 staff onsite, and moving around to work in other such places as power stations, call centres. I then went into education at started working at the University of Nottingham, helping set up and mobilise new contracts for Sodexho and Compass.
I left contract catering and went travelling for 1 year around Australia, New Zealand and Asia working in some local Australian restaurants producing fresh locally caught produce was amazing, with fish literally being landed that morning on the menu that evening it was taking fresh to a new level which reignited my love for fresh produce again that I once had when working in hotels and restaurants.
Upon returning I became self-employed and began working around the country at big festivals such as the Cheltenham festival, Wimbledon, British open golf, British touring cars, Royal Ascot and many more. We would be working with fresh produce catering for mass numbers which was an amazing challenge matched with the whole atmosphere of the event also I was hooked into the sporting side of catering.
This led me onto my biggest role so far team chef for the British Olympic and Paralympic sailing team. I worked with the team and leading nutritionists all around Europe and the world in world cup event supporting the team, keeping them well fuelled, while keeping the food interesting and nutritious. Shopping locally in different countries once again working with as fresh the produce as I could get it. The pinnacle of this was supporting the team in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. I worked with the team for 5 years in total.
I left the team after the Olympic cycle had finished to start a family with my new wife. Upon doing this I set up my own business providing private dining and corporate catering in and around the east midlands. Once again, I wanted to keep control of the produce I was using getting the best I could possibly get hold of whilst keeping control of my own menus and own designs and look of foods, whilst also working very closely with the client and providing a very high service profile to that client. I have been doing this for 5 years now, and mix this in with other freelance work such as teaching cookery lessons in a local cookery school. Also, consulting on brand new business openings and advising and helping out with existing struggling businesses sorting out the problems and issues of why the business may not be working as it should be.
Working on local food festivals either doing live demos for myself or working backstage providing home economic services for top chefs such as Michael Caines, Jean Christoph Novelli, John Torode, Greg Wallace, Aldo Zilli, Dean Edwards, Adam Simmonds and many more.
To Book or Hire Craig Floate
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