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Getting to know Tom Craig-Moonie
Meet Tom Craig-Moonie. Currently the Executive Chef at Restaurant Associate’s Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo, Tom started out his career in a Michelin stared restaurant in the UK. He is a true event pro – always prepared for the worst-case scenario and ready to find a solution like a dog with a bone. He loves old skool disco tunes, is inspired by everything in Melbourne (who isn’t?) and only buys shoes once a year (huh?). Join us as we get to know another amazing Event Pro, Tom Craig-Moonie…
Give us a snap shot of your career to date
I completed my apprenticeship at a Michelin stared restaurant in Bristol UK, then went on to work in some of the top hotels and restaurants in England & Wales. Owned my own award winning restaurant, Lecturer at College, Executive development Chef Compass Group UK and now I’m Executive Chef Melbourne & Werribee Open Range Zoo (Restaurant Associates)
The most memorable event you have worked on and why?
A 5000 pax ‘feed the homeless’ corporate enhancement event at a stadium in the UK – leading 500 corporate employees to produce a banquet for 5000 homeless people across London. It was a truly humbling experience and probably the most unique event I have ever run.
What did you ‘learn the hard way’ when planning an event?
When planning for a 1000 pax outdoor corporate BBQ event at Melbourne zoo in the ‘summer’ – obviously, the weather decided not to play ball and decided to rain heavily for 6 hours! As a team we scrambled to reset the event as an indoor BBQ whilst keeping the integrity of the theming the same.
What are three personality traits that are required to succeed in the events industry?
Be inspiring and continued to be inspired
Be like a dog with a bone
If you could share one piece of advice to those starting out in the industry what would it be?
Always be prepared and plan for the worst case scenario.
What song always gets you on the dance floor?
You’ve got the love – Candi Stanton.
How would your friends describe your job?
Describe yourself in two words?
Where do you go for creative inspiration?
Everywhere in Melbourne (you can find inspiration in every step you take).
When entertaining at home what do you cook?
I am lucky to have a great outside entertaining area at home so I do like a good spit roast and BBQ (While in Rome).
What do you prefer, cocktail party or sit-down dinner?
Cocktail – I enjoy styling these type of events and tend to have more time making the food look amazing with regards to presentation and taste.
What is your ideal holiday destination?
Santorini (Greek Island) – the most beautiful sunsets in the world.
Best fashion tip?
Only buy shoes once a year!!
What’s your drink of choice at an event?
Anything that includes Rum!
It’s event day – heels or flats?
Heels for me (only on weekends).
Who would you love to invite to dinner (past or present)?
Keith Floyd (and if you need a refresher do a bit of googling for his most interesting cooking moments).