Craig Samuel

Bringing Southern flavor and hospitality by way of four Brooklyn restaurants
Photo credit: Sanura Weather

Bed-Stuy native, Craig and his business partner have been bringing Southern food to Brooklyn since 2006. Having loved to cook since childhood, Craig studied to become a classically trained chef and honed his skills at some of the best restaurants in the world before launching his venture, B+C Restaurants, and opening their four restaurants.

As part of our 2018 AFROPUNK weekend experience, we partnered with Craig to bring our group to his Clinton Hill restaurant, Peaches Shrimp and Crab.

The following post is part of a Q&A series with the artists, chefs, curators, and business owners we partnered with to celebrate the cultural force that is Brooklyn.
Photos courtesy of B+C Restaurants
Tell us something about you and/or your B+C Restaurants we wouldn't know from reading your bio.
Most people don't know that the restaurants are named after a real person.
Most people don't know that the restaurants are named after a real person. My wife's grandmother, Marietta, was the warmest soul that I've ever met. Being from a tiny speck of a town in the south, she jokingly called me "City Boy" and I called her "Peaches." She taught me what it was to shower another person with warmth and I've never forgotten it. The time that I spent with her established the direction that would make hospitality the cornerstone of our business.
When and how did you first discover your passion for food?
My family is from the Caribbean so growing up I was always surrounded by great food. My uncles all grew their own vegetables in their backyards and my aunts were great cooks. From a very young age I'd help my mother prepare Sunday dinner which was always a big deal and completely from scratch. As much as I loved the technical aspects of preparing food it was the time spent with family that I valued the most.
What do you love most about living and working in Brooklyn? As Brooklyn has changed in recent years, how has that impacted your industry?
The best thing about living AND working in Brooklyn is definitely the sense of community. Despite being the largest borough in NYC, Brooklyn's small town beginnings always shine through. As Brooklyn has grown in the last few years, it has always embraced old timers and newcomers alike.
As much as I loved the technical aspects of preparing food, it was the time spent with family that I valued the most.
Photos courtesy of B+C Restaurants
Why did you decide to start your own thing? What has been the most rewarding part?
I wanted to shift gears and do something more personal, straightforward and close to home.
After years of working long hours as a chef in fine dining, I wanted to shift gears and do something more personal, straightforward and close to home. I wanted to have more of a connection to the guests and I wanted to spend more time with my family. Being in a small restaurant in a place like Brooklyn afforded me the opportunity to have both.

My favorite thing about "slowing down" and opening my first restaurant in Brooklyn was how great it was to have my children stop by after school and do their homework while we got ready for dinner service. The restaurant business can be unrelenting and this was a definite luxury.
What are you most looking forward to sharing with our group during the AFROPUNK weekend experience?
I always look forward to making our guests feel the same sense of hospitality that a welcoming grandmother made me feel when we met.
Learn more about Craig and B+C Restaurants on their website and connect on Instagram and Facebook.

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Brooklyn Highlights: a Q&A series with the amazing artists, writers, chefs, designers, and business owners we've partnered with to celebrate the cultural force that is Brooklyn.