A rock star from North Yorkshire and a chef from Liverpool and a are mixing food and music to shake up Britain’s foodie scene. Ruth Campbell picks up a few tips for a good night in

PREPARING an exquisite three-course meal for friends from scratch, using carefully-sourced, top-quality, seasonal ingredients, isn’t how most people imagine a successful young rock star might spend his evenings. But Helmsley-born George Craig, lead singer of the chart topping band One Night Only is, along with his mate Terry Edwards, helping to make the dinner party cool again.

Their ambitious pop-up restaurant nights, which celebrate British culture and ingredients and have sold out in London, Manchester and Leeds, are the inspiration behind their debut cookbook, Feeding Friends. Combining mouth-watering food with inspirational music, they hope their beautifully-crafted, but fun, menus, along with accompanying playlists, will encourage readers to take their dinner parties to the next level.

And, although filming has been shrouded in secrecy, if all goes to plan, a new TV cookery series for which they have completed a pilot programme, is expected before long to catapult these lads with a love of food and music to wider national attention before.

George, who has also developed a sideline in modelling after being scouted by Burberry, says he and Terry enjoy putting their own spin on classic dishes. “It’s about making fine dining accessible and affordable, breaking down barriers for people who couldn’t normally get this kind of food.”

After several years in London, he has recently moved back up north, having relocated to Manchester, where his girlfriend, blogger and stylist Megan Ellaby, also lives. “I wanted to get out of London, which is too busy and expensive. It’s a better way of life up north in general and it’s closer to home.”

George has dedicated the book to his mum, Louise, who runs a bed and breakfast in Helmsley. “Mum is a big influence, a great, traditional home cook," he says. "She makes the best spaghetti bolognese. It takes me to a happy place.”

Having started One Night Only while he was still at school, George had become used to a life on tour, eating junk food and living out of a suitcase, when he met Liverpudlian chef Terry at a sticky-floored music venue in York in 2009, during a break from recording his second album. Terry, who trained under the Michelin-starred chef Paul Heathcote and later worked for Michel Roux Jnr at La Gavroche, had taken a week off work to help a friend’s band out on tour.

Nine months later, they had both moved to London and started hanging out together. “Terry encouraged me to try new things in restaurants. He showed how cooking can be fun and accessible,” says George. “Trying things like making fresh pasta or learning to cook a perfect steak just made me want to taste more, eat more and eventually cook more.”

George, who is still active in the band, was also running club nights in the capital at the time and confesses that before he met Terry, he was content to get in a case of beer and a couple of pizzas with his mates. “Lazy and bad for you,” he says.

With music at the core of everything George does – he also manages a number of bands – he brought something else to the mix. “Nice restaurants often play hotel lobby-style music, but what breaks down a really great night is great food accompanied by great music,” he says.

He and Terry soon realised they could combine their skills to create an amazing night out. “The first night we cooked together for friends, we made awesome short rib beefburgers with tarragon mayonnaise, crispy bacon, sweet potato fries and green tomato ketchup. I put some classic American vinyl on the record player and started to make some of our nutty White Russians. We like to think we know how to put on a great party. It went down a treat.”

That was the night their idea for a pop-up restaurant was born. They took over a London burger restaurant which was closed on Monday nights for their first session. “We were two Northerners eating and cooking the food we loved. So we decided to go back to our roots and bring the food and music we grew up with down to London, giving it our own twist,” says George.

Their ‘Northern Invasion’ menu, accompanied by tracks by Oasis, Joy Division and The Stone Roses, included a black pudding hash with poached eggs – their version of bubble and squeak – alongside shellfish and chips, George’s gran’s version of Yorkshire parkin with sea salt caramel and a Yorkshire rhubarb martini. “It was a completely different experience from standing on stage at a gig in front of a huge crowd but it was equally as thrilling,” says George.

They went on to open pop-ups in hotels and pubs. “Anywhere that would have us,” says George. Their ‘Hen Party’ nights, with spineless chicken and a pudding of egg shells filled with crème brulee and mango jelly with shortbread soldiers for dipping, ran for 12 Sunday afternoons in a pub in London’s Soho.

“People loved our four-course Sunday roast with a great party atmosphere. George put together a cracking playlist full of playful tunes, from Lionel Richie’s Dancing on the Ceiling to Blondie’s Maria. Guests were singing along while eating their meal, it really brought it home how closely linked food and music are,” says Terry.

Since then, the pair have been taking their pop-up nights, which cater for up to 50 people, further afield to cities like Leeds and Manchester and also Scotland. They want to expand to venues in Newcastle and Teesside. “We want to travel round and build up a reputation outside London. If anyone is reading this and has a space that could be right, get in touch,” says George.

While they prepare the food together, George leaves the kitchen before guests arrive. “I take care of the party,” he says. Recently, he has been adding live music into the mix: “We had York band Hello Operator play stripped back acoustic music between courses recently and I even got up and sang an impromptu number.”

Now 26, he was only 18 when he had his first of many hits. “The impact was just mad, I was waking up somewhere different every day. It was a good experience at that age,” he says. “But when I think back to the kind of food I was eating on One Night Only’s first tour, I can’t believe how much has changed. Now, whenever we are in the recording studio, I’m the designated chef and I love it. I’ll cook up a big stew or treat the lads to a Beef Wellington and we’ll switch off, relax and sit round the table together.”

  • Feeding Friends by Terry and George (Hodder & Stoughton £20)

(George's favourite recipe )


When you pull this creamy, cheesy, bubbling dish of pure sin out of the oven, we swear to god you will burn your tongue because you can’t wait to get it in your mouth! We’ve added some jalapeños to give it that extra kick. If you’re a pro mac and cheese eater, you will fight to get the crunchy cheese bits around the edges. They’re the BEST!

Serves six-eight


500g macaroni

100g butter

100g flour

800ml full-fat milk

150ml double cream

1 tbsp English mustard

200g mature Cheddar, grated

200g Red Leicester, grated

4 egg yolks

150g jalapeños (from a jar),


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.

2. Cook the macaroni in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente, or according to the packet instructions. Drain and refresh in cold water and set aside.

3. Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat and add the flour. Cook, stirring, until you have a smooth paste.

4. Heat the milk, cream and mustard in a separate pan over a low heat. Slowly add this mixture to the flour and butter, stirring all the time to avoid any lumps forming. Once it’s all combined, add the grated cheeses and stir until melted and smooth. Finally stir in the egg yolks and jalapeños.

5. Combine the sauce with the macaroni and tip into an ovenproof dish. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, until golden and bubbling at the edges.

George's favourite places to eat out in North Yorkshire

* The Black Swan at Oldstead. "It's very sophisticated, fancy food at high-end prices. The nine-course tasting menu is really special'

* Andrew Pern's Star Inn at Harome. "We go there on New Year's Eve and Christmas Day."

* Gepetto's. "Our local Italian in Helmsley is great."

Also, the Mannion cafe in York and Helmsley and Le Langhe Italian in York.