We’re always ken to showcase our talented chefs and celebrate their successes, our chef spotlight this week goes to Craig who has worked for Adkins & Cheurfi over the last year in a vast range of venues.
❓ What inspired you to become a chef?
Growing up in a large farming family cooking was the heart to many days, I have fond memories learning to cook with my grandmother and great aunties starting back when I was 5/6 each weekend as a boy, which inspired me to cook more and more and I had fond memories of game shooting with my dad and grandad each weekend on are local estate and over are farm, game was a staple thing we had daily from venison to pheasant- rabbit wood cock – duck…Sunday lunch followed family round the kitchen label 13 of us each Sunday followed by a late afternoon tea with homemade scones jam – quiche – cakes – apple pie from the apples in the garden. The memories that pushed me forward to make a career in food.
❓ If you had to describe your cooking style, what would it be?
My cooking style has changed over the years starting of as a boy I was brought up on old Scottish classics comfort food at its best. Once leaving school I went on to college to do city and guilds hospitality award, then moving of in to a professional kitchen back the early 90s the style French classic were still alive and thriving. Two of my mentors John Beal and Ray Johnson, Terry Laybourne both drummed in to me the classical ways, but like everything things move on. Once I left the northeast to find others paths in my career I found myself in London for 3 years and then on the France before returning to the Scottish borders & Northumberland. After working in many high end hotels and restaurants I never found my own style until I hit my 30s taking over a Caley Palace in Castle Douglas I found my passion for local- vibrant fresh produce showing of what the countryside has to offer…whilst working in Claridges a Mr Williams told me a bit of advice keep things simple allow the ingredients to do the work and cook the food you enjoy to eat.
❓ Share with us one our your career milestones
25 years in the industry I’ve seen a lot and heard a lot, working with some great names and some great places with some fantastic talent…I’d say I have 2 pinnacles heading up Alnwick Castle and Close House for 8 years opened doors to me I thought would never happen. Cooking for Percy family and international royals topped the cart for me from the British/Spanish Royal family to the late Queen.
❓ Why did you decide to join Adkins & Cheurfi?
I decided to join Adkins and Cheurfi as a new venture and in my career to keep day to day life interesting, back late last year I set up my own Ltd company which specialises in providing great dinning experience- working for Dean and Melika through the agency opened more doors and allowed me to be more flexible with work and home life.
❓ If you could choose 3 people to invite to a dinner party that you could cook for, who would they be?
If I had to choose 3 guests for dinner it would have to be my best mate James as we’ve friends since infant school party’s, nights out and BBQ’s aren’t the same without his humour. My 2nd choice is my grandad who’s advice and support has put me were I am today. 3rd last but not least my wife as she’s my biggest critic 🤣