Craig Floate, personal chef

The Staff Canteen
Craig Floate

Craig Floate discusses his role as Personal Chef and his own inspirations with regards to pursuing a career as a Chef.

Name:  Craig Floate

Place of work: Self-employed

Role: Chef/owner


Bio: Having catered for events such as Royal Ascot, Wimbledon and the Olympics, self-employed Craig Floate now works as a personal Chef, specialising in private dining and corporate event dining throughout Nottingham and the surrounding areas; offering ingredient-driven regional dishes.

Chef Skills

Craig Floate takes us through his personal experiences whilst being in the Culinary Industry. These key skills that young Chefs and industry professionals learn as part of their basic training.

How long have you been in this role?

Self-employed for around five years, business owner 1 year and half.

What experience would someone need in order to progress to the top level of private catering or how many years would they need to become a personal Chef at the same level as you?

I definitely think a good solid food background and knowledge is needed; probably though on the job training and just gaining experience. I have been in catering for about 15 years and I don’t think I could have set this up when I had just started out so you need a bit of experience under your belt as you never know what type of situation could arise and how to handle it.

Also, a creative nature to create your own menus and ideas, and motivation to work for yourself and get your team to work for you. With this environment, there really is no room for error as you are charging people to cook in their homes! Everything has to be perfect.

What are your ultimate top five tips for someone looking to start a career in hospitality?

1) Hard work

2) Positive attitude

3) Listen

4) A passion for food or service

5) Taste, taste, taste!

What are you looking out for on a CV or in an interview if someone was applying to work with you?

1) Their favourite Chefs

2) Favourite places they like to eat

3) Positive attitude and willingness to learn

4) Type of establishments they have worked at, the role might not be right for them...

5) Something quite simple as spelling and grammar on their CV

Would you say that college catering students automatically think of working in Michelin restaurants and that is their goal?

Yes! Certainly, when I trained at college this was kind of the only route of catering we were taught about, which is a shame as there are so many ways to be involved in catering and not just restaurants. I think it’s essential to start in these places to get your food background and knowledge up before you move into a different area, I still refer back to my times in hotels and restaurants when we made everything from scratch and it stands me in good stead to this day. If Michelin is the route they choose then I take my hat off to all the guys that work in these places as it takes such dedication and sacrifice for years.

Do you think that catering for events and as a private Chef needs to be highlighted as an alternative, do you think this option is given the same amount of attention as the traditional route of working in a restaurant?

It’s a shame college don't offer more work placements in outside catering companies, blue-collar workplaces, white collar workplaces, education, sporting events, outside event catering. There are so many avenues out there that we also should be pointing students into, as generally the hours and pay are better than the normal split shifts in restaurants for less money. Some outside catering companies are doing fantastic food to a high level.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 6th April 2017

Craig Floate, personal chef