It’s funny how life works out, isn’t it?
You never know where your career path will take you, and given that we live in a business world where where entrepreneurial spirit is at (I’d say) it’s strongest; there are more fresh and exciting work opportunities to grab than ever before.
Take today’s blog interviewee George Craig, for example.
You may recognise this music mogul as that Burberry model and the singer from successful indie band ‘One Night Only’, who had chart toppings hits such as ‘You & Me’ and ‘Just for Tonight’ back in the oh-so blissful year of 2008. In fact, I vividly remember my 13 year old self blaring out those exact songs through my pink iPad nano (along with pretty much every other girl at school) – skinny jeans and wonky eyeliner in tact to complete what we considered to be the perfect ‘indie kid’ image. But how about we just spare ourselves from the cringe fest and move very swiftly on…
As I was getting my 8am caffeine fix and sleepily flicking through The Times (skipping straight to the more interesting foodie section – obvs), the familiar name ‘George Craig’ instantly caught my attention – and the content to follow had me hooked…
By the end of the article I felt totally inspired, uplifted and genuinely excited for him and Terry, plus the many people he will be sharing his real passion for food with. Sure, his approach to cooking might be a little different to mine – but that’s what makes the food world so fascinatingly diverse, no? So of course I had to reach out to George himself and get to know more about his and Terry’s new foodie venture…
Having transitioned from a band front man who’s demanding life on the road meant real food was just not on the cards, to an up and coming foodie who has developed a real appreciation for cooking; George Craig and his business partner Terry Edwards (a trained chef) are now rightly proud authors of their first recipe book, Feeding Friends – which has already proven to be a big a hit with the big boys such as Selfridges. No bigs.
Aaaand it doesn’t stop there! If you’re a Londoner who loves innovative food in a relaxed atmosphere, you’ll no doubt be in love with their ‘Check On’ pop-up events and catering business that offers exactly that. It’s not just the ingredients of their classic British dishes that are specially hand picked, but also the chilled vibe-setting soundtrack to go with them. Although One Night Only have come to a natural pause – George is still hot on the music scene, and each night is guaranteed to bring you music to fix the mood and match the food. Think Marvin Gaye’s ‘The Onion Song’ being played at their pop up at Vegucation (It would have been a crime not to, right?)
But if you’re a Northerner like myself and can’t always be training it down to the Big City; rest assured that George and Terry are now bringing their fresh pop-up vision right up to Yorkshire, where originally comes from. Expect them to be cooking up a mega storm at Lambert’s Yard in Leeds on July 15th & 16th, August 12th, 13th, 19th & 20 for an eight course tasting menu.
So let’s crack on with the Q&A, shall we?
Hey George! You started off your career in a chart topping band… What was life like on the road?
Traveling the world with the band and my best friends was amazing. We got to see a lot of places, but on tour you don’t really get time to explore, as you are in and out and on to the next destination pretty rapidly. I guess one way of describing it is like a constant stag do with your best mates and playing shows every night and meeting people who love the music you make is a lot of fun.
I can imagine it was pretty full on! What was a typical day on a plate for you?
Crisps, hummus, some sort of ham and cheese in a piece of bread, generally anything beige that you could get your hands on to fill a hole.
Sounds… Delicious? Tell us about when you had a turning point and decided to explore your passion for cooking…
It was when I moved to London and started to eat out with Terry, we quickly realised how expensive that was, so we started to cook things at home that were just as good as the restaurants dishes, as Terry has a great skill set and I learn things along the way.
You and Terry have just released your book, Feeding Friends – congratulations! If you had to pick 3 of your best recipes from it, what would they be?
I have always loved the Shell Fish and Chips, it just reminds me of up North and home.
Then there’s George’s Marvellous Medicine – it’s got my name in it 🙂
And Crayfish Cornish Pasties… [see below]
I love the quirky touches, there! What can we expect to see from your pop up store?
We like to make a relaxed fine dining experience at an affordable price: Good food and good music. You will experience classic and well known dishes but with our twist and playfulness.
Transitioning from being a band member to a full time foodie is quite a change – what’s been the biggest thing you have learned so far in your food/business career?
Ive always been on the receiving end of a nice meal or a night out, but I’ve learned how much goes in to doing it right along with the do’s and dont’s.
Cliché question: Where do you see yourself to be in 10 years time?
It’d be great to carry on writing books and have a TV show about food and music. It’d also be great to find time to make more records myself again!
How would you describe your style of cooking and your food ethos?
Classic British but with playful humour. We like to entertain in a different way and put our character into everything we serve!
Aaaand finally – the one dish you love so much you’d write a song about it would have to be…
It would be ‘pig bones’ which you can find at Bone Daddies in London… You need to go see what I’m talking about!
Pig bones? I’m intrigued – however I think chicken bone broth is just about as far as I can go…
Think you might like a go at some of these crowd pleasing recipes? Grab yourself a copy of Feeding Friends here!