Through February we held 6 MasterChef Dinners, where Craig showcased 4 of his favourite dishes from the MasterChef : The Professionals competition. Matched wines were also on offer.
Nick quizzed Craig about his experience of the competition, which gave the diners an opportunity to find out how at the age of only 21, Craig kept his nerve, was able to think on his feet and come up with some incredible dishes in the skills tests. Dealt with Marcus Wareing’s piecing stare. Cooked for esteemed guest under extreme pressure. How he felt and recovered after his wobble on the first day of the knock out week and how he steadily and consistently worked his way through the competition and clinch the title.
Not forgetting how his life has changed since winning the title – being recognised in the street and the incredible outpour of congratulations from MasterChef fans far and wide.
On Monday 29th January 2018, our Craig won the coveted Gastropub Chef of the Year at the Top 50 Gastropubs Awards ceremony which took place at Andrew Pern’s the Star in the City in York.
The Top 50 Gastropubs is an industry award and it is always an absolute honour to be recognised by your peers.
Stephen Harris’, The Sportsman took the number 1 spot this year. Followed by Josh Eggleton’s Pony and Trap in 2nd place. In hot pursuit, last year’s winner, Andrew Pern’s, The Star Inn at Harome took 3rd place. For the full list please click here.
Here’s what the press had to say:-
The Morning Advertiser
The Maidenhead Advertiser
Thursday 18th January started out like any other day in little old Paley Street until a rather noisy entourage alerted the locals to the arrival of two rather special guests.
Yep you got it! Theresa May and President Macron popped into the Oak for a spot of lunch ahead of talks at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst.
President Macron was pleased to meet Theo and Audrey from France, he said “these French young people live the partnership between our two countries.”
Here’s what some of the press had to say:-
Theresa May treats French president Emmanuel Macron to Michelin-starred pub lunch to discuss post-Brexit relationship
Brexit negotiations continue at Fuller’s Pub
Emmanuel Macron and Theresa May enjoy lunch at the Royal Oak at Paley Street
On Thursday 21st December 2017 Craig became the youngest ever chef to win MasterChef : The Professionals.
From the start Craig impressed the judges with his skills and innovative dishes. He smashed the skills tests and wowed the critics with his beautiful and really tasty food. Jay Raynor claimed he’d like to steal his ideas! He cooked for Gary Jones at Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons and Mauro Colagreco at Mirazur in France, both of which hold 2 Michelin stars. In finals week Craig cooked for the Chefs Table, an audience of 23 culinary giants. The VIP guests held 22 Michelin stars between them. Craig’s Vanilla Creme Brulee with Calvados Ice Cream and a Spiced Brioche Doughnut dessert brought the house down and received such high praise from the esteemed guests.
Craig is a local lad, he went to Furze Platt Senior School in Maidenhead, Berkshire. He was first inspired by cooking flapjacks with his Mum, a dish he used with a twist during the competition.
We cannot begin to explain how proud we are of Craig. This is such an outstanding achievement; so very well deserved and it really couldn’t happen to a nicer more modest lad!
In Marcus Wareing’s words. ‘You don’t come across cooks like Craig very often; we’ve found someone very special, we’ve just found the star of the future’.
Tonight we are holding the first of 6 MasterChef Dinners where Craig will showcase fours of his favourite MasterChef winning dishes. Click here to take a look at the menu.
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the town, deep into the depths of Berkshire, The Royal Oak at Paley Street has nevertheless earned itself a glowing reputation.
Warmly greeted at the door, I was taken with the charming rustic interior of the pub; a local newspaper strewn on a small wooden coffee table to my right, it was clear this place really is a favourite with locals as I had suspected, as well as drawing in punters from hundreds of miles away who make the long trip just to sample some of the renowned cuisine.
Taking a seat in the restaurant, I enjoyed the quirky and eclectic display of artwork adorning the walls, a splash of unique personality you often don’t see anywhere but the menu when dining out. More…….
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Creedy Carver Duck Breast, Bubble and Squeak, Wild Mushrooms