Top chef at town’s new gastro pub

Oliver's Bar and Kitchen, Nottingham Road, Eastwood
Oliver's Bar and Kitchen, Nottingham Road, Eastwood

A new gastro pub is opening in Eastwood this weekend and the head chef has worked with the likes of Marco Pierre White and John Kristoff Noveli.

Craig Thomas said he had done the ‘michelin circuit’ in London, and has worked alongside the very best chefs around.

“I got to know the celebrity circuit, and met Gordan Ramsay a few times,” he said.

“I’ve worked with Marco Pierre White, Jean-Christophe Novelli and Egon Ronay’s son.”

Craig, who lives in Carlton, plans to serve up plenty of tasty treats in his new role at Olivers Bar and Kitchen, providing a day time service in the gastro pub downstairs, and more of a fine dining service in the restaurant upstairs in the evenings.

“During the day we’re going to be doing a lot of the classics like fish and chips and burgers, but we’ll be doing homemade burgers, venison burgers and chicken and chorizo burgers, that kind of thing.

“Rather than pizza we’ll be doing flatbreads and Turkish style pizzas,” he said.

“Downstairs will be more traditional pub food, but it will be more of a fine dining service in the restaurant in the evenings.

“We’ll also be serving brunch until 1.30pm,” added Craig.

The talented chef says he is looking forward to the venture at Olivers bar and Kitchen.

“We’re going to have live music events and we’ve got a beautiful garden and balcony.

“It’s going to be good. It’s going to be hectic.

“It’s all really exciting.”

The windows have been kept covered up during renovations at 20 Nottingham Road, as Craig said they wanted to open ‘with a bang’.

“We’ve had the windows covered so people don’t really know we are here.

“We didn’t want to let the gas out the balloon slowly, we just wanted a bang.

“The building was derelict and condemned so the owners have been working on it for the past year doing it up.”

Craig previously ran his own restaurant in Nottingham, called Aurora, but after three years, he said competition in the area became too tough.

“There was an influx of new restaurants opening around me in the Lace Market and I didn’t have the resources for marketing and so on like they did so things slowed down a bit,” he said.

Previous to that Craig has worked in the Chanel Islands and the South of France, as well as London.

He moved back to the midlands to be close to his family.

Olivers Bar and Kitchen is owned by Kane Oliver.

Kane has incorporated a DH Lawrence theme throughout the bar and restaurant.

Craig said: “We have a big print of Lawrence on the wall in one of rooms, and the downstairs toilet is done out like a big double bookshelf that opens up.

“It looks really good.

“There’s a big pencil going across the bar, and we’ve got quotes from his work dotted around the rooms, so we’ve definately got that Lawrence theme alive here.”