Introducing the feeder of the thousands – Chef Moses! Flexing some super star servings, he lets us know all about how he fell in love with Nozstock, never failing to bring his bestie – a dressing gown who’s seen it all – along with him!
Who are you and what do you do at Noz?
My name’s Chef Moses and I’m one of the brains behind Team Kitchen, the guys that do the grub.
Tell us about your role at Noz – what are your highs and lows?
My role is to wrestle the task of feeding the hungry forces that create the festival, from conception to construction to completion. I work with a dedicated team of gutsy grafters that amaze me every year and put on the finest fodder this side of the Orchard Stage.
My personal highs come from the happy faces and full bellies of all our awesome staff after a successful service. That and feeding the headline artists, I’ve been lucky enough to feed Seasick Steve, Goldfrapp, Jurassic 5, Dub Pistols & Gentlemen’s Dub Club, to name but a few.
The lows are very few, but perhaps seeing the staff sink full of dirty plates, mugs and cutlery is one of them.
Give us your funniest Noz memory!
After a long weekend of burning the candle at both ends I was rounding off the Sunday dinner service looking forward to putting down my apron for the last time. Amidst the craziness of cooking dinner for everybody, we also had the pleasure of feeding Goldfrapp and her entourage that afternoon. They had been in and out of the kitchen in dribs and drabs for the last couple of hours.
So in walks a very delightful lady, very understated and timid asking for some more organic roast vegetables, a side for the Goldfrapp dinner. Hot and flustered, tea towel in hand and rushing a million miles an hour, I looked her dead in the face and said;
“Are you with the Goldfrapp party???”
She nods and I pass her more veg, completing my part of the deal I carry on with the Sunday dinner service.
Roll on to later that evening, I meet up with Ella, the festival co-ordinator, to ask her how things went for Goldfrapp. Ella reassured me that the feedback had all been great, they had loved everything, but Alison Goldfrapp was a bit confused as to why I had asked her if she was with her own entourage!!! 🤦♂️
To be fair I just never got a chance to check out what she actually looked like beforehand! Whoops!
What’s your absolute festival essential?
There’s only one answer, my festival dressing gown. It’s nearly 20 years old and has been to every festival I’ve ever been to. Over the years it’s become customised to include a pocket for a wine bag, pockets for cans of Guinness, hidden pockets for things that require hiding, it’s been sprayed with several layers of waterproofer and provides shelter from the rain, on a hot day it becomes a picnic blanket to sit on, it keeps out the wind and cold, doubles up as a blanket if you should fall asleep away from your bed! Even in the pit it can be wrapped around your waist and protects your valuables buried in your trouser pockets. I’ve lost it a couple of times but it’s always turned up because, let’s be honest, who’s going to walk away with a scabby old dressing gown? Definitely the greatest item of festival clothing and my number one tip for any festival newbies, take your dressing gown with you!
Who would your ultimate festival headline act be?
Such a hard question, it depends on so much, the festival, the stage, my mood, my age, my blood alcohol level! But I guess, as our kitchen is known as the unofficial metal stage of Nozstock, you can gather it’s going to be something a bit more heavy. I’ve been lucky to see a lot of live music over the years but even though I come from Birmingham I never got to see Black Sabbath live, so that would be my dream headline act.
What do you get up to outside of Noz?
When I started working at Noz I was five years into a career as a chef and 10 years into a career in hospitality, but things have changed a bit for me. Two years ago I ended my career as a chef so I could have a family and settle down, I’ve since had a beautiful daughter and I’m retraining to become an electrician. But I’ll never give up being a chef at Nozstock!
What’s your go-to chill out activity when escaping all of the festival mayhem?
Spending time with my wife and daughter, aimlessly wondering the festival site without a plan, without a schedule, without a programme and without a care in the world. Seeing the sites, listening to the music, sampling the cuisines, browsing the shops, people watching, letting the festival entice and ensnare you, just lost in the world of Noz!
Tell us about your first festival experience!
Reading Festival 2000, 17 years old, uncontrollably young and unashamedly naive. I took a tent, a tray of chicken and mushroom pot noodles and more alcohol then any teenager should ever have! I feel in love with this festival and went back for five years on the trot, but I’ve never had a chicken and mushroom pot noodle since!
How did you get into working at Noz?
I was a regular paying customer in 2011 and then I had my stag do there in 2014. Early on the Sunday morning I was watching the sun rise over the festival at the top of the hill that is the camping area and it hit me, I wanted to give back to this festival, I wanted to put back in what I’d taken out, I had so many wonderful memories that I’d been given by the stages, the people, the music, that I had to do something to pay it back. So the obvious thing was to offer my skills as a chef. 2015 was my first year working and I never looked back, I truly believe you experience so much more when you work a festival. I’ve made so many friends, meet so many people, seen so many smiles and loved every minute of it.
What would be your number one tip for all festival newbies?
TAKE YOUR DRESSING GOWN!!!