3 minutes Customer Profile

From Mini Clown to Ringmaster in the Kitchen

While he spent the first eight years of his life quite literally clowning around, once Graham Floyd got the taste for a career in food, he jumped through hoops to make a success of it. The ringmaster in the kitchen at Twelve Restaurant & Lounge Bar for the past decade, Graham continues to seamlessly juggle the pressures of running an award-winning restaurant kitchen alongside a growing event business.

Graham’s Story

“I was born in Scotland but my mum ran off to join the circus when I was two weeks old, so I spent my first eight years travelling around the UK with a circus troupe, animals and a big top. My mum looked after the Indian elephant and performed the trapeze. I even debuted myself as a mini clown in those early days,” says Graham.

“When I was nine, we moved in with my Nana in Blackpool for some schooling stability. It was here cooking with my Nan that the first embers of my passion for cooking were lit. After studying Food Technology at school and completing work experience at a local bakery, who gave me a job afterwards, it was an easy decision to pursue a career in the kitchen, so I enrolled at Blackpool College to complete my NVQ qualifications.”

“I joined Twelve at 18 and after a couple of stints away developing my skills at Holbeck Ghyll Hotel, which had a Michelin star, and then launching the kitchen at Blackpool Football Club’s four-star hotel, I returned as Head Chef. I have been in the role 10 years now and I’m incredibly proud of what we have built.”

Multi award-winning Twelve Restaurant & Lounge Bar is the epitome of a dynamic and successful independent business employing over 40 local people. Uniquely positioned alongside one of Europe’s tallest windmills, Twelve is a bustling neighbourhood restaurant in Marsh Mill Village in Lancashire. The venue showcases edgy urbane décor featuring exposed girders, graffiti artwork, brick and reclaimed wood, a sleek cocktail bar, an outdoor area and has won countless awards including a Michelin Bib Gourmand.

“When I started it was a small restaurant with 60 covers,” notes Graham. “In the last ten years, we have extended and refurbished, which has provided us with the ability to grow revenue. For example, the event side of our business has been a key element of our growth and in generating positive word of mouth publicity. We can offer bespoke catering for ten guests at their home, at our restaurant or for thousands at event spaces such as Blackpool Tower, Browsholme Hall, The River Barn and Staining Lodge.”

We like to put our own special stamp on everything

“Our food showcases great locally sourced seasonal ingredients and combinations that customers aren’t necessarily afraid of. We like to put our own special stamp on everything though. It’s about stimulating the senses and showcasing a dish or a flavour combination in a way customers didn’t expect and couldn’t (or hadn’t) thought of replicating at home. Our banana butty dessert is a good example and a big favourite comprising a raspberry & banana parfait alongside a Biscoff shake. Another is our bread-and-butter pudding, which is deep-fried and rolled in sugar. Country Range is crucial to our pantry with the spices, seasonings and baking chocolate widely used.”